Crack the code to keep yourself cybersafe

Since being invented in 1970 the internet has dramatically changed our everyday lives; from ditching the high streets and shopping online to ‘googling’ almost anything.

With statistics showing that 82% of adults use the internet on a daily basis, 70% of this usage coming through mobile smart phones, this is more than double the figure 10 years ago in 2006 where only 35% of adults admitted to accessing the internet daily.


However Kate Davies, who works in the Surveys and Economics Indicators Division at the Office for National Statistics, states:

“Regular internet use continues to rise, with more than 8 in 10 people going online almost every day in 2016.

However, many older people are still to catch up with the digital revolution, with nearly half of single pensioners still having no internet access at all.”

So with internet usage in adults continuing to rise, yet coming to a halt with the older generation, what is the case for young people within the 16-24 age bracket?

Statistics show that a whopping 91% of 16-24 year olds use the internet for social media use daily however only 16% of these young people are aware of the kind of threats the internet can pose. In order to raise awareness of staying safe, responsible and positive online Safer Internet Day takes place annually with the date in 2017 being Tuesday 7th February.

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In order to support this awareness day we visited Lisa, Jessica and Dani at local Ayrshire company Microtech Group, to gain a better understanding of how best to stay safe online. As a Senior Graphic Designer Dani Horton knows how easy it is to become a target of people copyrighting artwork online and passing it off as their own.

Dani says:

“There are vast amounts of Graphic Designers, Photographers and Illustrators online and this can be a good platform to showcase your work. If you’re ever feeling down about your work, it’s good to show other people who can give you feedback – it can be a really positive thing.

The only issue is you need to make sure to check the small print with social media platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr and Myspace. Some state they own the rights to all the content you put onto their site. In doing this, they can then use any of your content however they wish. Also, if someone does use any of your pictures on Instagram (for example) without your consent, you then have to contact them directly to ask them to take this down. It can be a lengthy process, so just always be aware when posting information and photographs online.”

Graphic Designer Jessica Taylor also states in order to be safe online make use of the privacy settings on social media platforms to ensure your profile can only be seen by the people you want it to be seen by:

“The advice I would give is just to always be wary. There is a lot of settings now on social media such as privacy settings that if you don’t want people seeing your posts you can share these only amongst your friends and always be careful of who you accept.”

During our visit to Microtech Group we also caught up with 17 year old Loudoun Academy pupil Rachel Wolschke who has been carrying out a work experience placement within the company every Wednesday for a number of weeks. Rachel has career aspirations to work in Marketing and felt having this experience within Microtech Digital has definitely confirmed this as the ideal field of work for her.

After the summer she plans to go to University to study Marketing and hopes this will open doors to many new opportunities. You can watch our full interview with Rachel below or by clicking here.

With Microtech Group getting involved in the work experience programme and employer engagement, we spoke with Marketing Manager Lisa Parker to find out why she feels it is important for the company to get involved with the local community and bring young people into the organisation.

 “I think it’s really important for the Microtech Group to get involved in supporting the local community. We work with many local schools and enjoy being able to support anyone with the drive and enthusiasm to want to come into the workplace and learn. It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to hear new opinions from young people on the work that we do, and also for them to be able to contribute their opinions.”

So would Lisa encourage other employers to get involved by recruiting a young person or taking on a work experience placement?

“Definitely! I think it’s a great idea to get young people into the workplace. It gives companies the chance to be involved with their development and hopefully inspire them in their future careers.”

Taking on younger members of staff is also a great opportunity for companies to learn from people who may be fresh out of school, college or university, and are actually more aware of new technologies and techniques that they’ve not yet heard of or implemented.”

To watch the full interview with Lisa, Jessica and Dani see below or click here.

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Rachel, Jessica, Dani & Lisa from Microtech Group

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