Online Safety Support and Advice
About Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day 2021 is on the 9th of February and will be celebrated with the theme ‘An internet we trust – exploring reliability in the online world’.
Safer Internet Day inspires a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively.
Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the celebration sees thousands of organisations get involved to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
Each year in the UK, Safer Internet Day explores a new area or theme that is important to the young people we work with every day.
Safer Internet Day 2021 celebrates the amazing range of information and opportunities online, and its potential to inform, connect and inspire us, whilst also looking at how young people can separate fact from fiction.
The campaign focuses on how we can know what to trust online, supporting young people to question, challenge and change the online world. It will explore how influence, persuasion and manipulation can impact young people’s decisions, opinions and what they share online. We want to give young people the skills to support one another, and the strategies to spot and speak out against harmful and misleading content online.
This Safer Internet Day we are focussing on the theme of reliability online, opening up conversations with young people about how they explore information, looking at the strategies they can implement to spot and speak out against harmful and misleading content online.
Share the hashtag #AnInternetWeTrust - with your support on social media we can make Safer Internet Day 2021 the biggest ever!
What are the issues?
The internet – on the whole an inspiring and positive place.
The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices.
However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge.
You may sometimes feel that your children have better technical skills than you do, however children and young people still need advice and protection when it comes to managing their lives online.
Issues that your child may encounter on the internet will vary depending on their age and online activities. We have grouped potential online risks into these 4 categories.
Conduct: children may be at risk because of their own behaviour, for example, by sharing too much information.
Children need to be aware of the impact that their online activity can have on both themselves and other people, and the digital footprint that they create on the internet. It’s easy to feel anonymous online and it’s important that children are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, the information that they may have posted. When using the internet, it’s important to keep personal information safe and not share it with strangers.
Discuss with your child the importance of reporting inappropriate conversations, messages, images and behaviours and how this can be done.
Content: age-inappropriate or unreliable content can be available to children.
Some online content is not suitable for children and may be hurtful or harmful. This is true for content accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, blogs and websites. It’s important for children to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true or written with a bias.
Children may need your help as they begin to assess content in this way. There can be legal consequences for using or downloading copyrighted content, without seeking the author’s permission.
Contact: children can be contacted by bullies or people who groom or seek to abuse them.
It is important for children to realise that new friends made online may not be who they say they are and that once a friend is added to an online account, you may be sharing your personal information with them. Regularly reviewing friends lists and removing unwanted contacts is a useful step. Privacy settings online may also allow you to customise the information that each friend is able to access. If you have concerns that your child is, or has been, the subject of inappropriate sexual contact or approach by another person, it’s vital that you report it to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (www.ceop.police.uk). If your child is the victim of cyberbullying, this can also be reported online and offline.
Reinforce with your child the importance of telling a trusted adult straight away if someone is bullying them or making them feel uncomfortable, or if one of their friends is being bullied online.
Commercialism: young people can be unaware of hidden costs and advertising in apps, games and websites.
Young people’s privacy and enjoyment online can sometimes be affected by advertising and marketing schemes, which can also mean inadvertently spending money online, for example within applications.
Encourage your children to keep their personal information private, learn how to block both pop ups and spam emails, turn off in-app purchasing on devices where possible, and use a family email address when filling in online forms.
(Information taken from the UK Safer Internet Centre)