Tuesday 6th February marks Safer Internet Day 2024. Coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre in the UK, organisations get involved in the day to promote the safe and responsible use of digital technologies for children and young people.
Although the efforts of the day are targeted at children and young people, the event calls for everyone to join in as we all play a pivotal role in creating a safe online environment. While schools, youth groups and libraries put on events to educate children and young people on the 6th February, other organisations put on events to help parents, carers and other professionals, so they’re able to teach their children about internet safety.
Safer Internet Day offers the opportunity to showcase how technology is used by children and young people. This year’s theme is: Inspiring Change? Making a difference, managing influence, and navigating change online. The focus this year is to delve into young people’s perspective on technology, how the internet can be used to influence positive change, what changes young people wish to see in the online world, and what influences how young people think, feel, and behave online.
Who teaches young people about online safety?
We can all get involved to teach children and young people about online safety. For Safer Internet Day 2024, the UK Safer Internet Centre have put together free educational resources tailored for ages ranging from 3-18 year olds. The engaging resources are designed to help deliver material on making a difference, managing influence, and navigating change online. To ensure that all ages have educational resources relevant to their age group, these resources have been broken down into age brackets. Whether you’re a parent, a school, a youth group, or a library, these are fun and engaging resources which provide the essential advice required to help children and young people stay safe online.
Tips for young people:
It’s vital for young people to speak about what you do online. Particularly if you see or hear something online that hurts you, it is important to tell a trusted adult who can take the necessary steps. It’s important to report and block any harmful content that could be online, this will stop it spreading around and limit the amount of people who could see it.
Furthermore, young people can help influence a positive digital world by always being kind online. It’s important to always think about what you are saying or sharing online to ensure it will not be hurtful to others. Make sure those that you interact with online also make you feel happy, if you’re encouraging online and interact with optimistic people, this can influence the internet to be a positive place.
Tips for parents/carers:
Parents and carers are role models for children and young people, and just how parents or cares set a good example for young people in real life, it is important to set a good example of how to behave online too. Setting clear boundaries of how technology and the internet should be used will influence young people of how they should behave online.
Parents and carers should have open and honest conversations about technology and the internet to children and young people. This will allow you to see what they’re doing online, if their interests or habits change, and whether there is anything that you should be concerned about. This also allows children and young people to come to you if they see something they don’t feel is right online.
Be familiar with how to block and report content that you’re not happy with. Get to know the online safety settings on websites, games, and social media channels that your children are using. Switching on the correct security settings on these platforms can help protect your children online. Speak to other parents and carers about how they’re supporting their children through the online world too and know where to get support if you ever require it.
Visit the UK Safer Internet Centre’s official Safer Internet Day 2024 page to find out more