Safer Internet Day 2014: Let’s create a better internet together
Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre.
The theme for Safer Internet Day 2014 is ‘Let’s create a better internet together’. This theme covers the responsibility that all users have in making the internet a better place.
Whether children and young people, parents and carers, educators or social care workers, or indeed industry, decision makers or politicians, everyone has a role to play.
In championing a better internet, the theme recognises the balance between encouraging users to embrace and empowering them to make the most of the positive opportunities offered online, while responding to, dealing with and moving past the negative online.
There are ways in which all users can contribute:
Children and young people can help to create a better internet by being kind and respectful to others online and seeking positive and safe opportunities to create, engage and share online.
Parents and carers can help to create a better internet by maintaining an open and honest dialogue with their children about their online lives, supporting them with their online activity (as appropriate to their age), particularly any concerns and issues, and seeking out positive opportunities to share with their children online. They can help to respond to the negative by modelling positive online behaviours themselves, and also by reporting any inappropriate or illegal content they find.
Educators and social care workers can help to empower children and young people to embrace the positive by equipping them with the digital literacy skills they require for today’s world, and giving them opportunities to use – and create – positive content online. They can help to respond to the negative by supporting young people if they encounter problems online, and by giving them the confidence and skills to seek help from others.
Industry has a role to play by creating - and promoting - positive content and services online. They can empower users to respond to the negative by ensuring that there are the right tools for users, that there are clear channels and transparent procedures for reporting and quick and easy access to support if things do go wrong.
Decision makers and politicians need to provide the culture in which all of the above can function and thrive – for example, by ensuring that there are opportunities in the curriculum for children to learn and teachers to teach about online safety, ensuring that parents and carers have access to appropriate information and sources of support, and that industry are encouraged to self regulate their content and services.