Tuesday, February 9 is 2021’s Safer Internet Day. It was started in 2004 by Insafe, a network that aims to create a safer internet for the sake of children and youth. It has grown to be celebrated in approximately 170 nations around the world. The goal of Safer Internet Day is to raise awareness of online issues and concerns such as digital identity and cyberbullying.
Safer Internet Day aims to create a safer and better internet for everyone to use technology responsibly, respectfully and creatively. The slogan of Safer Internet Day is “Together for a better internet”, celebrating the positive power of the internet when youth, parents, educators, and other industry workers come together. The global, yet community-led approach of Safer Internet Day encourages individuals to come together and play their part.
A few ways to “celebrate” Safer Internet Day involve making sure the younger generation is aware of online safety and things to look out for when browsing the internet. Advise children to become “detectives” and let them know that not everything they see or hear online may be true. If they are unsure of something they read online, show them how to check other trusted sources for proper information.
Help them to be aware of strangers online as well. There are many sites and services that allow communication between anyone, so it’s important to monitor who they talk to and what they discuss. The online gaming community is a huge system of communication and children should know to keep personal information hidden and to decipher whether they are talking to someone safe or not.
There is positive action that can be taken when online communication goes the wrong way. If someone is acting suspicious or violent online, many sites have “report” and “block” features that can and absolutely should be used. If cyberbullying is involved, be sure to have that person blocked on all sites where there could be potential interaction.
For more information and resources on creating a safer internet experience, visit here.