Families have never been more reliant upon technology to connect to the outside world and find some sense of normality in these uncertain times. Technology has been a lifeline for many to connect with friends and family, continue to work, home school children and be entertained.
Through initiatives such as Stay Safe Stay Home, Internet Matters provided key information and resources to families to ensure that their daily online lives during the pandemic were fulfilling and above all, safe. We have continued our work to support the most vulnerable young people online with new research and resources and supported those who were digitally excluded with safety information as they were gifted devices.
As lockdown restrictions gradually lifted, Internet Matters focussed on supporting parents in navigating their way through the impact that their children’s increased digital connectivity had on their overall wellbeing. We will continue to work with our partners to connect with and support as many parents and their children across the UK as possible.
As we share this report, the long-awaited Online Safety Bill has been published and The Children’s Code from the Information Commissioners Office is now in force. These are welcomed regulatory interventions and we look forward to seeing their impact over the coming years. We hope that together they make the internet a significantly safer place for young people. In the meantime, collaboration is at the heart of Internet Matters’ work and we continue to work with a wide range of experts, academics, the third sector and industry. Protecting children’s safety and wellbeing online is complex and our work is all the better because of their ongoing commitment and invaluable support.
The work of Internet Matters cannot be achieved without the support of our growing number of industry partners and their consistent commitment since we started our work in 2014. Their support, and their willingness to collaborate on a sustained basis, has allowed Internet Matters to make a real impact in the lives of children and young people which you will see throughout this report. That’s why I was delighted to join Internet Matters as the inaugural Chairperson in September 2020.
Finally, Internet Matters prides itself on being a collaborative organisation and as such, it works with a wide range of experts, academics, and third sector organisations. We’d like to extend our thanks to them for their support for our work, it is simply better as a result of their input.