Online safety: a complex issue

sicurezza on line

If Europe takes steps forward and increasingly speaks the 'digital language' planning to implement the European broadband, on the other hand there are numerous steps backwards by the States and by users, in the approach to the web.

1 in 4 internet users in the European Union experienced security issues in 2015 by reducing their online activities.

Web security concerns the limited possibility of certain activities: account blocking, impossibility of updating your PC software, loss of your password or access to your accounts, risk of losing your computer data or your privacy (sensitive information such as electronic mail) etc…

These risks are called virus which in reality are software launched precisely to enter accounts or PCs and affect with abuse of personal information, can lead to financial losses or can lure children computer natives but not 'natives of how the world goes'.

This occurs mainly through access to inappropriate websites.
In 2015, these breaches accounted for 25% of internet activity in Europe.
In other words, three-quarters (75%) of Internet users experienced online security problems in 2015.

Thanks to these security problems, some Internet users in the European Union are not inclined to shop online: almost 1 in 5, the 19%, has not carried out banking activities (to be exact, the 18% in 2015), and the 13% of they did not use the internet with a mobile device using a wireless connection from places other than home.

This cybersecurity data was released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, on the occasion of the Safer Internet Day (held on February 9th). This event is organized every year to promote responsible use of technology and mobile phones online, especially among children and young people.

The Eurostat report states that the least affected Internet users by security problems are in the Czech Republic (10%) and the Netherlands (11%),
in Slovakia (13%) and in Ireland (14%).
At the opposite end of the scale we find Croatia (42%), Hungary (39%), Portugal (36%), Malta (34%) and France (33%).

Italy boasts an important record: it almost halved web security problems between 2010 (45%) and 2015 (24%).
At the EU level, the percentage of internet users who have caught a virus online has decreased by 10%, from almost a third (31%) in 2010 to around a fifth (21%) in 2015.

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So the 'poor digitization' of many social activities, concern to a greater extent the user's reluctance to use the internet for fear of losing their information online through the possibility of breaches to the security of their accounts. In short, users are afraid of catching viruses.

And this is the main problem of e-banking, for example, that is the use of the web for banking transactions. It is incredible but this is mainly seen in Germany and Portugal.

In particular, in Germany the 27% of users use the e-banking system, and in Portugal the 26%, followed by Italy (24%), Spain (23%) and Greece (22%).
In the European Union, this is the figure that leads to the calculation that only 18% of Internet users, in 2015, used the web mode for social activities.

In Italy, internet access for social activities via mobile was only 19%. The 25% of these used the mobile for purchases or for commercial activities with individuals, while the 24% for e-banking activities

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But the most disturbing data, not yet numerical, is provided by the bitcoins, it is an electronic currency that could prove to be very dangerous. Bitcoin has no central authority that follows its movements, it is issued with an 8-digit number by network managers for credit card payments, which makes its traceability very complex. With bitcoin you can withdraw entire assets and make them disappear forever ... This is the reason why some banks advise users to use the 'disposable card for online payments', the amounts of which are limited and temporary. Clearly this form of payment is not very welcome to online producers as if they do not have time to recover the credit they risk seeing the amount to be withdrawn disappear and therefore perhaps having to repeat the operation

Attenzione! può essere 'molesto'
Attention! can be 'annoying'

It is there is still a case of security/insecurity computer science that is occurring recently more and more often: the Cryptolockers, a cyber attack via email.

On 10 February, after having encrypted continuous violations of mail for various users, the postal police raised the alarm, warning against the arbitrary sending of unsolicited e-mails, even if sometimes with addresses similar to those known to us , with various attachments, if you open the attachment the PC is attacked and all data is lost. The precise scenario is the following: the unsuspecting user receives a message on his e-mail box which provides deceptive information on alleged shipments in his favor or containing a link or an attachment in the name of credit institutions, companies, institutions, managers and publicly known service providers. It appears, in appearance, an email from a reliable sender. By clicking on the link or opening the attachment (usually a document in pdf or zip format), the virus is injected which immediately encrypts the contents of the computer memories, even those connected to the network. At this point the 'blackmail' is triggered by cybercriminals who require infected users, in order to reopen the files and get their documents back, to pay a sum of a few hundred euros in bitcoins to receive, always gradually and -mail a program for decryption. But even if you give in to the request, it is not certain that it will be successful, so much so that the Postal Police warns: "It is important not to give in to blackmail, also because it is not certain that the encrypted files will be returned after payment!" (source: Rainews)

In short, there is never peace on the Internet, because, moreover, in the face of these security dangers, the States are oriented towards closing or limiting access and the relative configuration of the web as 'virtual square', relational and social is further compromised.

In reality it is that not even the States, some States, not America for example, are well aware of the potential and dangers associated with the use of the Internet, so drawing up a 'universal law' on the responsible use of the web, which permits it freedom, in the name of which the internet was born, and at the same time regulates any abuses, is truly a titanic undertaking.

How to protect yourself: some online advice!
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