Today is Safer Internet Day and three of the biggest names on the Web have announced campaigns to raise awareness of privacy issues. Microsoft is marking the occasion by going back to basics and asking people to “Do 1 Thing,” Twitter is working with anti-bullying charities and offering free advertising services to selected non-profit organizations, while Google is also providing privacy tips.
Microsoft, which has been active on Safer Internet Day since its inception in 2010 and runs other privacy awareness initiatives, has introduced a new website to provide easy tips to the less tech-savvy folks out there. This advice itself is fairly elementary — such as adding a lockscreen password to devices, enabling automatic Windows updates and being careful when using unprotected WiFi, and more — while visitors are encouraged to share one tip or pledge to help raise awareness and advise others.
Comparing its user surveys conducted over the past two years, Microsoft says “it’s clear” that people aren’t being more cautious at protecting their data, which is why it hopes that focusing on a single tip this year will help. The firm is also planning to a donation to TechSoup Global, a nonprofit that uses technology to solve problems worldwide.
Microsoft is hoping to gain more support and visibility via social media channels — specifically a #Do1thing Twitter hashtag.
Unlike Microsoft, Twitter is using its visibility as a platform to help non-profits rather than targeting users directly.
The microblogging company, which has come under-fire from those who believe it could do to prevent bullying on its service, says partnerships with the likes of the UK Safer Internet Centre and Anti-Bullying Pro have provided “invaluable feedback [to] help us build our platform with safety at its core”.
— Twitter UK (@TwitterUK) February 11, 2014
“We are also supporting Safer Internet Day by providing pro bono Twitter advertising to selected charities and non-profit organisations. This will help organizers of Safer Internet Day to reach new audiences by using Twitter’s promoted products,” the company said in a blog post.
Twitter’s initiatives are UK-based, and the company may unveil more programs during US business hours later today.
As you might expect, Google is also taking part in Safer Internet Day, though its participation is quieter than the other two. Like Microsoft, it is providing basic tips for Internet users on its Good To Know Web safety site.
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