Today is Safer Internet Day, promoting responsible technology use, including smartphones. More than 2000 schools and organisations, including EE, Vodafone, Three, Facebook, Google and Direct Mobiles are involved in supporting the initiative run by Safer Internet.
What is the aim?
The aim of Safer Internet Day is to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. Every year there is a different theme, and for 2019 then theme is ‘how consent works in an online context’. This means talking to young people to explore how they ask, give and receive consent online. This could be their friendships or relationships, how they take and share photos and videos and how they manage their online privacy and data.
Through tools to help young people explore how the internet works, who owns the information posted and how they can better control their data, Safer Internet Day supports organisations, parents, carers and businesses that want to help. The internet and smartphone technology are amazing. The power it has given us to stay in touch with friends and family, organise our lives, entertain, educate and help others is phenomenal, but as with all technology, it needs to be used responsibly. Just like when we were younger and were told not to watch too much TV, or as a parent, not to let children watch TV after the 9pm watershed, safe and sensible use of the internet also needs to be understood and promoted. It’s still a relatively new technology for many, and that’s before we get into the world of virtual reality, so it makes sense to start now with understanding responsible use.
Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved and join a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.
The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together and help to create a better internet.
Each year for Safer Internet Day the UK Safer Internet Centre creates a range of resources to help educational settings and wider to celebrate the day. This includes:
- Lessons plans, assemblies and films tailor made for all ages
- Resources to support social media involvement on Safer Internet Day
- Registration as a Safer Internet Day Supporter
- National research looking at young people’s use of technology
The UK Safer Internet Centre invites everyone to join Safer Internet Day supporters across the globe to help create a better internet on Tuesday 5th February 2019, and throughout the whole year!
Direct Mobiles will be sharing tips and guides for safer smartphone use on their blog today and throughout February.
Resources to help support children and young people understand the internet
The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading charities – Childnet International, the Internet Watch Foundation and South West Grid for Learning, (SWGfL) – with a shared mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people.
The partnership was appointed by the European Commission as the Safer Internet Centre for the UK in January 2011 and is one of the 31 Safer Internet Centres of the Insafe network.
The UK Safer Internet Centre delivers a wide range of activity to promote the safe and responsible use of technology by children and young people:
- coordinates Safer Internet Day in the UK, reaching millions every year. In 2018 Safer Internet Day reached 45 of young people and 30% of parents in the UK.
- founded and operates an online safety helpline for professionals working with children in the UK, including teachers, police officers, GPs and more
- operates the UK’s hotline for reporting online child sexual abuse imagery
- develops new advice and educational resources for children, parents and carers and teachers to meet emerging trends in the fast-changing online environment
- delivers education sessions for children, parents, carers, teachers and the wider children’s workforce, including free events across the UK
- trains children and young people to be peer educators and champions for the safe and positive use of technology
- shapes policy at school, industry and government level, both in the UK and internationally, and facilitates youth panels to give young people a voice on these issues.
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