Safer Internet Day
The Internet has been an amazing invention that has undoubtedly change the world in more ways than we can think of. Not all of those ways, unfortunately, have been positive. We can connect to people faster, find things easier, and transfer information at the speed of light. These very boons of communication can become the bane of safety. So much of our private lives and information get transferred over the internet, Safer Internet Day reminds us to protect ourselves from the dangers there and make the internet a little safer for everyone.
Safer Internet Day came to exist officially in 2012, when the US Department of Homeland Security and the European Commission decided it was time to help shepherd the growing beast that was the Internet into a playground that was safer for our youth. In America things got really going in 2013 when ConnectSafely.org was appointed to coordinate the efforts in the American theater, and they ve been driving it forward a little more every year. Each year they choose a theme to help promote, and a goal that they intend to reach.
In 2015 they began to promote that years theme “Actions & Activism Toward a Better Net & World”, where they focused on concerns like bullying and integration with the National Parent Teacher Association, and working to use technology to help effect social change. This is a particularly powerful use of the tool, given that people from every walk of life and culture from around the world can connect and communicate in ways they never could before. Thats what the Internet was for, what it brought to us, and the world it helped bring together.
Globally, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over a hundred countries, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.
The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet.