Safer Internet Day 2015: the biggest yet

On Tuesday 10th February thousands of people across the UK joined in activities to celebrate Safer Internet Day 2015. With the aim of exploring the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community, the UK Safer Internet Centre called upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider community to support Safer Internet Day. As a result Safer Internet Day 2015 was the biggest yet!

Over 850 organisations pledged their support, including 505 schools and organisations such as the BBC, CEOP, Disney, the FA, Facebook, Google, Internet Matters, Lloyds Banking Group, Microsoft, NSPCC, Twitter and the UK Government.

Safer Internet Day trended all day on twitter and the mass tweet campaign reached over 1.7 million people. Olympic gymnast and UK Safer Internet Centre Ambassador Beth Tweddle helped kick start the campaign by ‘sharing a smile’ in support of #SID2015 and duo Bars and Melody helped close the day on a high as #SIDTV trended during their exclusive @UK_SIC twitter takeover.

Young people declare that a better internet is #Up2Us!

On the whole the internet is a really positive place, but there are still too many young people who have negative experiences online. A study into Friendship in a Digital Age launched by the UK Safer Internet Centre on Safer Internet Day revealed 30% of 11-16-year-olds experienced someone being mean to them online in the last year. Yet according to the online study conducted by ResearchBods:

  • More than three quarters (78%) of young people believe that they have the power to create a kinder online community
  • The majority (88%) of the young people questioned said they always try to be kind in their online interactions.

That’s why for Safer Internet Day 2015 all young people were encouraged to play their part in creating a better internet by joining the #Up2Us campaign.

#Up2Us aims to make young voices heard

Ensuring the voices of young people were heard, the UK Safer Internet Centre created #Up2Us, a film made by over 150 schoolchildren about their online experiences – both good and bad.

The film featured children from schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and was premiered at events attended across the UK attended by government ministers on Safer Internet Day.

On social media the SID promise clips encouraged hundreds of schools and pupils to create and share their own Safer Internet Day promises. Young people were also central in this year’s SIDTV which was presented by CBBC Download stars Molly and Harvey and was designed for schools to stream to pupils on Safer Internet Day. The result of these actions was that more young people than ever before got involved in SID 2015.

Support is there for parents and carers

Of course, the role of parents and carers is also vital in helping young people stay safe online. Last year 25% of children had heard about Safer Internet Day 2014 and two thirds spoke to their family members about being safe online. Parents and carers therefore play a crucial role in supporting children to navigate risks and make the most of the opportunities offered by technology.

To support parents in talking to their children about online safety we hope our section for parents will encourage even more parents to talk to their children about staying safe online after Safer Internet Day 2015, ultimately a better internet really is #Up2Us!

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