Safer Internet Day 2016 is being celebrated globally today, Tuesday 9th February with the slogan ‘Play your part for a better internet’. Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration will see hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
The online safety landscape has evolved significantly over recent years from a focus on creating a ‘safer’ internet to instead creating a ‘better’ internet. Whether we are children and young people, parents and carers, educators or social care workers, or indeed industry, decision makers or politicians, we all have a role to play.
There are ways in which we can all contribute to a ‘better’ internet:
• Children and young people can help to create a better internet by being kind and respectful to others online, by protecting their online reputations (and those of others), and by seeking out positive opportunities to create, engage and share online. They can help to respond to the negative by being ‘helpful bystanders’: supporting peers if they encounter issues online, taking a stand against cyberbullying, and reporting any inappropriate or illegal content they find. Above all, children and young people should be encouraged to take their stand as digital citizens of the future – participating in debates on the future of the internet, and making their voices heard.
• Parents and carers can help to create a better internet by maintaining an open and honest dialogue with their children about their online lives, by supporting them with their personal development online and helping them to deal with any concerns or issues, seeking out positive opportunities to engage with their children online, and helping their children to find and use good quality digital resources. They can help to respond to the negative by staying engaged with their child’s online activity (as appropriate to their age), by modelling positive online behaviours themselves, and by also reporting any inappropriate or illegal content they find.
A nice resource has been put on the CBBC Newsround website that schools might like to share with their children and parents around top tips