Safer Internet Day 2021
Safer Internet Day: Tuesday 9 February 2021
The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three organisations - Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and SWGfL - with a mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people.
Coordinated by The UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day 2021 will be celebrated in the UK on Tuesday 9 February 2021 with the theme 'An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world'.
Around the world many countries hold a Safer Internet themed day in February, focusing on a specific element of internet safety. During this last year, many more of us have been spending more time online to learn and work, as well as to stay in contact with friends and family, and staying safe online has never been more important.
Do you, as an adult or young person, know how to stay safe on social media sites? Take a look at these one page guides on how to stay safe (from Safer Schools) on the most popular platforms, such as TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and Reddit for example.
There is a plethora of social media and websites we can access to keep up to date with news from around the globe. However, not all the information that is shared online is reliable and, in particular over the past few years, alongside misinformation, the term ‘fake news’ has come into common use. As a result, this year Safer Internet Day explores reliability online and how we can separate fact from fiction.
The news and information that we access is very important. Good quality news and information helps us to make informed decisions and educates us about the world we live in. Good quality news is out there, we just need to find it. Research in 2020 found that 55% of 12-15 year olds say it is difficult to tell whether news on social media is accurate or not (see 'News Consumption in the UK: 2020' ofcom.org.uk).
If we allow ourselves to stop trusting any news online, how will we know what is going on in the world? How would we know about a pandemic? How would we know about important social issues, like the Black Lives Matter movement or climate change marches? So what steps can we take to ensure that the information we read is accurate?
- Question adverts and take the time to think about if a product is really worth your money.
- Read multiple sources to decide on YOUR perspective.
- Remember that content posted by influencers and celebs has been carefully chosen and might not be a true reflection of their lives.
- Spot hashtags like #AD which tells you when people are being paid to show you something.
- Talk to people, use offline sources and fact-checking websites to help find reliable information.
- Unfollow or mute accounts if the content is affecting your well-being.
Watch these young people discuss what you can trust online...
Reminder of Key Tips:
If you feel you need advice and support for supporting your children and yourself to stay safe online, you may find these links useful.
- UK Safer Internet Centre
- Childline - Staying Safe Online
- NSPCC - Online Safety
- Internet Matters - helping parents keep their children safe online
- Report Remove helps children and young people to report an image shared online, to see if it is possible to get the image removed.
- Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) - in the event that a site has no reporting function and if the content is a sexual image of someone under 18, you can report it to the IWF .
- CEOP - if you are concerned that a child or young person is being sexually abused, exploited or groomed online you should report to a CEOP Child Protection Advisor.