Kalina, 21, from Aberdeen shares her experience of being part of the young people’s DigiKnow? steering group.
In July 2018, I applied to be part of a new cyber resilience based project with Young Scot and after a successful selection day, became a member of a young people’s steering group. In the months that followed, the group had to come up with ways to engage young people and raise awareness of cyber resilience and opportunities that are available in the field.
Thus, DigiKnow? was born and the efforts culminated in the launch of three events in Dundee, Kilmarnock and Glasgow during the week of Safer Internet Day in 2019. During the development process, DigiKnow? was supported by the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, Education Scotland, and technology companies Morgan Stanley, Strathclyde Forensics and Chronyko.
I was part of the DigiKnow? steering group and even though I don’t have a background in the field I still wanted to get involved because cyber resilience should be important to all of us. It’s not just the ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from a cyber-attack.
“Resilience is more than just preventing or responding to an attack—it also takes into account the ability to operate during, and to adapt and recover, from such an event.”
It’s a skillset that young people increasingly need in the world of today. With this in mind, DigiKnow? is a fun little guide that includes reading materials, useful links, quizzes and competitions on young.scot to teach and educate young people on the skills they might require to stay safe online. As for myself, I’ve also learned a lot from being part of DigiKnow?
Below are my top tips on how to stay safe online.
I regularly change my passwords
I try not to use personal information such as names of pets, family etc, places of birth, birthdates. If possible, make it a combination of numbers and random words, don’t make it easy for others to guess and take hold of your personal information.
If it’s too good to be true it probably isn’t
Pay attention where you’re getting your goods from. Not all websites are trustworthy, and some will sell knockoffs for the price of the real item. Look around to check if you’re on a secure website. The padlock in the top bar should indicate that. Furthermore, where possible use credit cards as the banks have protections in place if you get scammed.
Speaking of banks and institutions, trust your gut feeling
Never respond to emails / messages / phone calls asking for personal information. If in doubt, hang up and phone your bank/ institution to verify it was them contacting you in the first-place. You can find the contact information on their secure website.
Be careful what you post online
Nothing is ever gone from the internet and actions have consequences even online. If, however, you’ve already posted something you want taking down – know your rights. You have the right to have a picture or post removed and to report disturbing content.
Safe browsing – and stay cyber resilient!
To find out more about cyber resilience and how to stay safe online, visit our Digi, Aye? campaign page.
To get more information and find opportunities to test your cyber skills and combat cyber attacks, visit the DigiKnow campaign.