Empower young people to take the lead in creating a better internet

On Tuesday 9th February 2016, millions across the UK and globally will be celebrating Safer Internet Day.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the day is a great opportunity to talk to your family and friends about the safe and positive use of technology, and to ‘share a heart’ to help create a kinder online community.

What does this day mean for parents?

This year’s theme is ‘Play your part for a better internet’ and provides an opportunity for everyone to explore the responsibility we all have to help create a kinder online community.

For parents Safer Internet Day provides an opportunity to educate young people about how to use the internet safely and positively whilst empowering them to take the lead in creating a better internet.  Safe and responsible use of technology is an important issue and Safer Internet Day is a chance to empower young people and to give them the skills to help them get the most out of the incredible technology that they’re using.

Celebrating diversity online

Last year over 850 organisations, including schools, charities, industry and government got involved in Safer Internet Day and as a result the campaign reached 25% of 11-16s, with a third of those going on to change their behaviour.  This year our aim is to empower young people to celebrate diversity online in order to inspire a kind, respectful and inclusive internet, and help raise awareness about the issue of online hate and ensure no child is ever targeted online for being different.

To help parents have a conversation with their child this Safer Internet Day we have pulled together some advice and resources on a special Advice for Parents and Carers page.  The page includes a parent’s fact sheet, conversation starters and the leaflet Supporting Young People Online.

Resources available to take part

A great resource to use to start a conversation is the Safer Internet Day quiz.  Aimed at 9 – 13 year olds the quiz can be used to help young people see if they make kind choices when faced with dilemmas online.  It covers topics such as cyberbullying, trolling, respect and kindness online, looking out for friends and pressures online.  Whilst doing the quiz young people will discover lots of helpful feedback and advice which can be used to encourage discussion.  It will also inspire them to think about the responsibility we all have to create a kinder internet.

#Shareaheart to spread kindness online

The Safer Internet Day #shareaheart social media campaign can also be used to encourage young people to think about how they can create a kinder more inclusive online community.  As part of the campaign we’re inviting everyone to create a Safer Internet Day pledge.  The pledge can be a promise of something you will do on Safer Internet Day to make the internet a better place or it can be a wish for a better internet.

Getting involved is easy; all you need is a Safer Internet Day pledge, a way to record your message and a social media account to post your message on Safer Internet Day using the hashtag #shareaheart. We’ve even created a heart sign which can be used to write your pledges on!  Visit the Make a pledge page for a step-by-step guide and inspiration from young people from across the UK.

To find out more and to get involved in Safer Internet Day visit: http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2016

We can all play our part for a better internet!

Additional Reading

If you’d like to find out more about Safer Internet Day and what you can do to take part, visit:

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