Safer Internet day 2020

The 11th February is Safer Internet Day and the theme will be ‘Free to be’. This article takes a look at the campaign and suggests some tips and hints.

The Safer Internet Day campaign is coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre and aims to inspire conversations around the country about how they use technology. The celebrations also aims to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology amongst children and young people.

The theme of ‘Free to be’ explores whether young people feel free to be themselves on the internet. Areas of conversation include how do they manage their online profile? How does the internet shape how they think of themselves and others? Does the internet allow young people to express themselves freely?

By opening up these topics of conversation, Safer Internet Day aims to inspire young people to support each other in being who they want to be. The UK Safer Internet Centre has created several topics based around being free on the internet:

·         Free to be creative

·         Free to be different

·         Free to expect respect

·         Free to feel safe

·         Free to ask for help

·         Free to embrace difference

·         Free to make the internet work for your family

·         Free to explore and investigate

·         Free to get involved

·         Free to talk

There also several resources available on the Safer Internet website, which can be found here.

Some other more general tips for staying safe on the internet, written on the ‘It’s Time to Log off’ Website:

·         Stranger Danger – The same applies on the internet as it does in the street.

·         Check your privacy settings – checking this can help keep you protected online

·         Posting is permanent – deleting something online, unfortunately, won’t mean it’s gone forever. People can save it before you delete it.

·         Create strong passwords – and don’t share them with anyone

·         Never reveal personal information - things like your address or school shouldn’t be revealed online

·         Be aware of fake news – Fake news is increasing, the BBC produced this helpful article to help you understand it and spot it.

·         Be respectful to others – behind every screen is a real person with real emotions.

·         Our lives on Social Media aren’t the full picture – most people will only post the best parts of their lives and it’s important not to compare yourself to this.

·         Know how to block or report content

·         Recognise when it’s time for a break

From a charities point of view it is important to protect yourself from fraud and cyber crime and the UK Government has put together a toolkit on this topic. This can be found here.