11 February 2020
Did you know that 95% of teens and young adults using social media say that they have witnessed cruel behaviour online, or that almost one third of parents and carers in the US say they allow their children to surf the web without supervision?
Safer Internet Day aims to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology – especially among children and young people.
On the day each year, organisations, schools, and individuals come together to encourage internet users across the world.
To inspire positive changes online, raise awareness of online safety issues, and participate in events and activities in their local areas.
Insafe, INHOPE, and Better Internet for Kids this year aim to bring together kids and their families with carers, educators, social workers, those in the digital industry, and politicians, using the theme of “Together for a Better Internet”. To promote internet safety for kids, they suggest:
Encouraging children and young people to get involved by being kind to others online, using the internet thoughtfully, and taking advantage of opportunities to have positive interactions online.
Encouraging parents, carers, and teachers to have a running dialogue with children, encouraging them to be kind online, and by acting as “digital role models”. Also, promoting digital literacy and critical thinking skills can also help children use the internet more safely.
Adults sometimes need help using the internet more safely as well. Below are some good tips to keep in mind for your own internet usage:
What’s posted on the internet stays on the internet, so think twice before you share any personal information, photos of yourself or others, etc.
For parents, family members, and carers especially, it is important to think critically before posting photos online of children.
For example, you should not post pictures online of children in front of their school or in their school uniform.
If you would like to post a photo online of a child that is not your own, you should always obtain permission from their parent or guardian before doing so.
Just as you should really think before you post about others, you should monitor what others post about you.
Just because somebody tags you in a post doesn’t mean you have to accept. Be thoughtful about what content from others you allow on your digital profiles.
Always be cautious when sharing your personal information online with people and organisations that you don’t personally know.
Parents, family members, carers, and teachers should keep this in mind when teaching children about digital literacy.
They may not have bank account details yet, but kids need to know that it is dangerous to share where they live, where they go to school, or information about their families with anyone they interact with online.
When you’re logged on to a public Wi-Fi network, never enter passwords, bank information, or any other sensitive information.
Non-password protected, public Wi-Fi networks make stealing your information much easier for hackers.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to promote internet safety for children or yourself, or want to find Safer Internet Day 2020 events in your area, head over to the SaferInternetDay.org.