This Tuesday 7th February, we want you to “Be the Change: Unite for a better internet”. After all, that’s the theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day.
Started in 2011, Safer Internet Day is put on by the UK Safer Internet Centre (SIC), a partnership of three organisations which lead the way in child internet safety: SWGfL, Childnet International and Internet Watch Foundation. They have helped hundreds of organisations – including schools, local police, charities and companies – come together to help teach children and their parents how to use the internet for positive things.
Last year, Safer Internet Day reached 2.8 million children around the UK, and this year, they want to do even more. This is how you can get involved.
Talk to your kids, or encourage parents to talk to their kids
Kids today know how to swipe a tablet screen before they know how to throw a ball, and while we can easily keep the very youngest children entertained with train and puppy videos, older children want more independence online. But with that independence comes risks.
Luckily, the SIC has created age-appropriate education packs to help you talk to your kids about both staying safe and making a positive use of the technology they are surrounded with. You can get an education pack here. There’s even a handy page of tips and tricks to help you explore this essential subject with your kids.
If you don’t have any kids between the ages of 5 and 18 of your own, encourage other parents to talk to their kids. Have a quick meeting, get them on the phone, or – bringing us neatly to our next point – tell them about Safer Internet Day on social media.
Join the social media campaign
As with everything digital, Safer Internet Day also has an associated social media campaign. On the day (and leading up to it), tweet them at @UK_SIC and use the hashtag #SID2017. Connect with them on Facebook by searching for UK Safer Internet Centre. Find them on Instagram at UK_SIC, and check out the UKSIC YouTube channel.
There you’ll find all the information you need to help promote the positive use of technology and to make the internet safer for everyone.
And don’t forget to share everything as much as you can, so others can see what it means to create a safer internet, too.
Encourage the young people you know to get involved
As we all know, just talking at children doesn’t do much, especially when they’re going through the tricky teenage years. But SIC have thought of that, too. They’ve created a really cool youth photo campaign to go along with the educational activities.
This interactive campaign encourages kids to use the power of selfies and online photography to explore the power such imagery has in shaping our ideas about ourselves and others. It will help kids see that others might not have it as good as they say, and it can help them learn how to express themselves as truthfully as possible using the medium of photography.
Practice what you preach
It’s all well and good tweeting and talking to your children, but we all know that actions speak louder than words. Make sure you’re doing your part to contribute to a safer internet every day, and soon, we might not have to have a Safer Internet Day ever again.
Wouldn’t that be great?