This February we are proud to support Safer Internet Day, which “calls upon all stakeholders to join together to make the internet a safer and better place for all, and especially for children and young people”. Here are some thoughts from Helen, our Head of Finance and Operations, about how Passion tackles this important topic.

What does “safe” actually mean? The Cambridge Dictionary primary definition is “not in danger or likely to be harmed”. It is this protection from danger and harm that is the core aim of Safer Internet Day.

Internet safety encompasses a huge spectrum of topics and everyone will have different priorities. Is your focus on the financial security of a company or individuals, or perhaps the commercial security of information and business knowledge? The physical security of people and our possessions, the security of your mental health or that of loved ones, or the security of personal privacy in relation to everyday life?

At Passion, our collective focus is on our people, our clients, and our business. Our work demands that we embrace internet safety across the broad array of digital technologies and platforms. As digital specialists, Passion is proud to lead with safe working practices and a curious, attentive and risk-focused mindset.

How Do We Approach Internet Safety?

At Passion, we address safety from three angles:

1. Data Protection

It is of paramount importance to Passion that the data of our team, our clients and our suppliers is private and secure. A robust safety infrastructure builds barriers to cyber-attacks, security incidents and data leaks.

The foundation of data protection is a robust risk-assessment across the business, with appropriate processes, safeguards and controls to mitigate risks identified. Any material business change, such as the shift to remote working during 2020, demands a review and redress of risks.

Check it out: our client OneTrust has an interesting read on the 2021 privacy compliance landscape, which you can download here.

2. Information Veracity

Whether it’s fake news, deciphering fact from opinion, or fake traffic and fake clicks by automated bots, we need to work hard to maintain credibility of our data and information sources. We are actively monitoring traffic and clicks for our clients, constantly assessing the content and information available to us, and we communicate frequently to ensure nothing slips through the gaps.

3. Risk Comprehension

We need to be educated, smart and alert to the risks posed by the ever-changing digital landscape, maintaining a security-first culture throughout Passion. The upcoming year will see us build out Passion Academy, an agile and targeted training platform, within which we are embedding both team-specific and company-wide safety training.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced an evolution of our working lives, and with any evolution comes a changing risk profile. The pandemic has driven a physical wedge between teams, forcing remote and disparate working and a fundamental shift in day-to-day interactions.

While communication continues to evolve and new ways of working settle, we need to be aware of the lost touch points. What would have been a sense check over a cup of tea in the office has become a quick call or message. Physical security reminders in the workplace must be part of day-to-day conversations. It’s important that the culture embodied in the office moves online and needs to be embraced by every member of staff.

Life before COVID-19…

What Do We Need to Look Out For in the Future?

The evolution of the workforce – as the latest generation leaves school and university with new tools at their fingertips – drives constant change and the opportunity to both learn and educate. At Passion we are working with evolving platforms and looking to the next generation of social media services. Education is key as we keep our skills up to date and embrace the changes ahead.

In 2020 we worked on a keyword research project for the NSPCC’s Net Aware website, identifying the most searched for topics around online safety for kids. What came out of that research was a real sense of the knowledge gap between parents and children.

There was a high number of searches for phrases like ‘is roblox safe for my child’ and ‘is instagram ok for 11 year old’. Interestingly there were over 12k searches a month around turning off parental controls, which might be made by children trying to bypass parental control in their games or devices, such as “how to get past parental controls” and “how to turn off safe search chrome”. This indicates both a concern from parents about their lack of knowledge of the games and platforms that their children are accessing, as well as the advanced troubleshooting capabilities of younger generations who are actively looking to bypass attempts to limit their online activity.

Additional Online Security Resources

There’s a plethora of useful resources targeted at the different areas of internet safety. Here is a select list:

The Final Word…

Paramount to internet safety is the ability to remain agile and adapt to change. The risks are constantly evolving, as are our ways of working and our workforce. We are passionate about internet safety; make us part of the conversation at your workplace or in your home. Educate us about the specific risks relating to your business or sector. Internet safety is a broad topic and we cannot claim to be experts on it all but, at Passion, we are listening and learning.

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