What is Safer Internet Day?
Safer Internet Day is a global event that happens all over the world about the positive and safe use of technology and the internet by young people. The day is supported by large companies (such as, BT, Sky, O2, Vodafone, Lloyds Banking Group, Microsoft), social media sites (such as, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Google), charities (like the NSPCC), Premier League football clubs, the Welsh and UK Government and Police Services. For a full list click here
When is it?
In 2018 Safer Internet day falls on the 6th of February. There is an event held at the Pierhead in Cardiff, hosted by Welsh Government to announce the Winners of the Safer Internet Day Competition. The event will be a showcase of all the entries put in by young people on how being online makes them feel.
What is Happening Across the Rest of Wales?
Schools across Wales will also be delivering Safer Internet activities, such as Ysgol Bro Gwaun, Ysgol Gynradd Rhydypennau, Olchfa School, Hendre Infants School and Lewis School Pengam.
You can also get involved by tweeting #SID2018 and joining the millions of others who are posting about the day during a mass tweet at 8.30am.
What’s Special About Safer Internet Day this Year?
The UK’s Safer Internet Centre also released the findings of their study looking at how young people use the internet. The research was carried out with 2000 young people (aged 8-17) across the UK (101 of which came from Wales). The research found that there were positives that came out of the internet, such as:
· 68% said they felt inspired and 85% said they felt happy about their internet use.
· 84% of young people would send a kind message to a friend if they appeared upset or sad
· 52% felt that they were less isolated because they could keep in touch with friends via technology
Though the research had found some potential negative effects young people experienced, such as:
· 60% of young people felt sad and 53% said they felt angry about what they had seen online
· 41% of young people had been excluded from groups of friends online
· 1 in 7 say that they have not been taught how to manage friendships online and about cyberbullying
What Do Some of the Organisers in Wales Have to Say About the Day?
“As well as working on an Online Safety Action Plan for Wales, we have also launched an ‘Online Safety Zone’ on our digital learning platform, Hwb, developed a tool which helps schools evaluate their online safety practice and delivered over 180 training sessions for teachers and governors across all local authorities in Wales since 2014.” – Kirsty Williams (Welsh Government Education Secretary)
“It’s clear that technology is having an impact on how young people develop relationships, interact with each other and express themselves. Today’s findings are encouraging, highlighting that the majority of young people’s experiences of the internet in Wales are positive in this regard. However, we also see that there is a negative side, including where young people face pressures in their online friendships.” – Will Gardner (Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and CEO of Childnet)
Tips to stay safe online;
1. Use passphrases rather than a single word. Make sure your sure the passphrase is at least 12 characters long
2. Make sure your Facebook posts and tweets are set to share with friends and followers only
3. Check your social media profiles so that personal information e.g. Date of Birth, School, etc. is visible to friends only or avoid putting it on your profiles at all
4. Only let people you know in real life friend you or follow you.
5. Check your pictures to make sure you don’t have your school logo on show