Safer Internet Day 2019 kicks off today with a worldwide schedule of events to help make the internet a safer environment, and this is certainly needed as a recent poll indicates many people still make poor choices when it comes to protecting themselves online.

Behind the slogan “Together for a better internet”, the day’s organizer saferinternetday.org has planned events in 140 countries all of which are geared to raising awareness and to work toward making the web safer. A Harris Poll indicates that some education is certainly in order.

A survey of 3,000 people 16 years and older found the majority, 52 percent, use the same password for multiple accounts and only 24 percent use a password manager as a way to help diversify their protection. Additionally, more than half could not properly define phishing, two-factor authentication or password manager.

Google also issued a four-step program for Safer Internet Day to give consumers a leg up on security:

1.       Set up a recovery phone number or email address, and keep it updated.
2.       Use unique passwords for your accounts
3.       Keep your software up to date
4.       Go a step further by setting up two-factor authentication

Having different organizations chime in to give web users the tools to better protect themselves is exactly what is needed said Leo Taddeo, CISO, Cyxtera.

“It takes collaboration across private, public, commercial and consumer groups to improve security for all. There is no single way to lower cybersecurity risk; it takes a concerted effort and commitment to keep the Internet safe,” he said.

Rusty Carter, Arxan’s VP of product management, noted the importance of everyone, consumers and businesses, being on the same page using the same precautions when it comes to cybersecurity.

“Having a ‘safer’ internet doesn’t hinge on just one thing — passwords, applications, endpoints, IoT devices and software, in addition to enterprises and individuals must all be equally protected to ensure internet safety. Everything is connected, so consumer protection, privacy organizations and leading security vendors need to increase the visibility of security needs and the things consumers of technologies need to do on their own to increase overall internet security and decrease their chances of direct loss or of being part of a bad network that has an impact on another business or society,” he said.

Some of the activities planned for Safer Internet Day include:

United States – ConnectSafely will host two events for students in Seattle, Washington, and publish an activity/lesson plan for teachers to use in their classrooms on Safer Internet Day. The first event, at Google’s Seattle offices, will host 250 middle and high school students and will kick off Safer Internet Day in the US. Schools across the country will also participate in a livestream event. An evening event, just for elementary school students and their parents, will follow.

Canada – For Safer Internet Day 2019, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection is helping families start the conversation about internet safety by highlighting Zoe & Molly Online, an interactive website where kids aged 8-10 can explore what it means to be safe while playing games online and the risks associated with sharing their personal information and sending pictures online.

Brazil – Besides the main event taking place on 5 February 2019 at São Paulo – SP with CGI.br, we will have the second edition of SID Brazil Youth Ambassadors programme. Additionally, special satellites events in 2019 includes, a meeting to discuss online safety and privacy with Brazilian Startups at Google Campus for Startups Brazil, a creative meeting with teenagers to think about new perspectives on cyberbullying at Facebook – Instagram, and workshops to strengthen online safety to cyberactivists.

United Kingdom – The UK campaign will see hundreds of organizations unite to raise awareness of online safety issues and run events and activities right across the UK. As a result of our collective action, Safer Internet Day 2018 reached 45 percent of UK children and 30 percent of parents