Good Cybercitizens Make the Internet a Safer Place

The Internet is a very powerful and useful tool when used properly. In the same way that we should not drive without buckling the seat belt or ride a bike without a helmet, we should not venture online without taking some basic precautions. The National Cyber Security Alliance reminds us that cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility as an individual and a member of our ever-growing online community.

Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind as we work together striving to be good cybercitizens to create a better and safer digital world for ourselves and others.

Own your online presence. To keep yourself safe, set privacy and security settings on web services, apps, and devices to your comfort level. You do not have to share everything with everyone. It is your choice to limit what (and with whom) you share personal information.

Be a good digital citizen. The things that you would not do in your physical life, do not do in your digital life. If you see crime online, report it the same way that you would in real life. Keep yourself safe and assist in keeping others safe on the Internet.

Respect yourself and others. Practice good netiquette, know the law, and do not do things that would cause others harm. The Golden Rule applies online, as well.

Practice good communications. Never send an e-mail typed in anger. Put it in your draft folder and wait. Keep in mind that digital communications do not give the reader the same visual or audio cues that speaking in person (or by video or phone) does.

Protect yourself and your information. Use complex passwords or passphrases, and don't reuse the same password or variations of a simple phrase. Better yet, enable two-factor authentication or two-step verification whenever possible.