It’s time to celebrate the Internet and all that it has to offer. However, before we do that, there are certain do’s and don’ts that need to be taken care of.

February 5 is designated as Safer Internet Day (SID) to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world. The theme for SID 2013 is Online Rights and Responsibilities.

Today is Safer Internet Day.

The event, celebrated on the second day of the second week each February, is supported by over 130 countries and organisations worldwide. In its 10th year, the focus is “Online Rights and Responsibilities”.

Tap-tap, tap-a-tap - tap... I punch my keyboard,

Click-click, click-click-click.... I command with the mouse!

Open within seconds, in its entirety, is the virtual world

With its limitless cache of games, information, friends, its diverse storehouse!

Wait! Accessing the internet is effortless, yes, but are you aware of your Three ‘R’s of the Online World — Rights, Responsibilities and Respect? Let’s take a look!

Happy surfing!

For queries, contact JaagoTeens, a society that works towards promoting Internet safety, at www.jaagoteens.com.

Online Rights

Right to safe online surfing, without fear or threats of:

Your account getting hacked, your personal details getting phished ( an e-mail fraud method where legitimate-looking email is sent to gather personal and financial information.

Being stalked, or receiving abusive comments or unsolicited age-inappropriate material.

Right to access sites and information which are age-appropriate, authentic and non-abusive.

Right to privacy of personal information is of utmost importance.

Right to be respected by the online community.

Right to report abuse; equally, to express unpopular point(s) of view so long as you yourself stay clear of hate speech.

Tip: If any right is violated, do discuss with parent(s) / trusted adult who will decide on further course of action.

Online Responsibilities

The guiding principle here is, ‘Do unto others what you would have others do unto you’. Thus, do remember to:

Not generate spam, viruses or malicious software;

Not reveal your own, as well as others’ personal information;

Be responsible when blogging, social networking, uploading photographs/images, etc. by avoiding bullying, wrongful and hateful sentiments regarding religion, caste, gender, etc.

Upload personal photographs with extreme caution, mindful of global audience, careful of privacy settings, taking consent from others before uploading where required.

Read terms and conditions before signing up for anything online;

Be honest in access of age appropriate sites only. Also, honestly stating you are 13 years old (instead of 19) would keep you safe in many sites like Facebook, etc. thanks to built-in security features.

Upload authentic information, not trash, always stating sources of information, if any.

Keep parents in the loop; take their sanction when making online purchases (like gifts, books, games, etc.);

Flag inappropriate content and report abuse. Regard it as your duty.

Review privacy and account settings periodically; they tend to change often, not always to one’s liking.

Strictly guard your account security by creating strong passwords and be particular about not sharing passwords!

Tip: Since the internet is a powerful global platform, why not work on humanitarian issues?

Respect

Netiquette is the buzzword! After all, who likes uncouth behaviour, whether offline or online.

Despite the anonymous factor on the Internet, treat every online individual with respect.

Use correct and polite language leaving clean digital footprints not just for posterity but also useful in times of college admissions, jobs, etc.

Familiarise yourself with Intellectual Property issues. Respect copyrights.

Meanwhile, we hope you steer clear of these three R's — rough language/comments, repetitive posts, regret once you have posted something!