Making Every Day “Safer Internet Day”

by Jon Nevett, President and CEO, Public Interest Registry


Sometime today, many of the world’s 4.7 billion Internet users will go online. Students around the globe will fire up a computer, phone, or other device to attend class—and millions of mission-based .ORGs will work to fight for justice, feed the hungry, and lift up their communities.

That makes February 9 just another day on the Internet. But it’s also something else, something worth stopping to reflect on: Today is Safer Internet Day.

When this day of awareness was established 18 years ago, the founders understood that without a safe and trusted Internet, none of the things we take for granted online could take place. We all know that the Internet isn’t one system, but a web of systems that connect things big and small. And each of us has a piece of Internet real estate—whether it’s a domain name, a server, or a device.

And so, in this interconnected world, we are all dependent on each other. At Public Interest Registry, we embrace this obligation wholeheartedly.

As the steward of .ORG, we work with Internet leaders, service providers, policymakers, domain holders, and others to continually upgrade the infrastructure and combat Domain Name System (DNS) Abuse including malware, bots, phishing, and pharming. We also work closely with domain name registrars to help them protect and improve the quality of the .ORG domain space.

It is a daunting task to keep our corner of the Internet safe. For .ORG domain holders, we launched the .ORG Learning Center last fall to offer tips, advice and tools on how to not only create an online presence, but keep it safe and trustworthy. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll roll out a series on Internet safety with leading cyber security experts.

Each day, we are confronted with stories about bad actors utilizing the Internet for nefarious purposes. For every 100 people trying to make something better online, there will be one (or more) who will manipulate it for their own harmful ends.

That’s why it’s important that we each do our part to keep the Internet safe. The Safer Internet Day website includes a Resources Page that features advice and tips about how to stay safe online—and it provides these resources in dozens of languages.

Over the next few weeks, we will have more to say about Internet safety with the announcement of initiatives designed to bring the DNS community together to collaborate and find new solutions to combat abuse and make our online experience more trusted.

Ultimately, that’s what it’s about: trust, and a safer and more trusted Internet can make our communities and the world a better place.

So today, as you browse social media, visit websites, shop online, watch a movie, play a game, catch up on the news, attend class, or message friends, I hope that you will take a moment to think about those who are working to make the Internet a safer place and keep it a resource we all trust.