The internet will never be risk-proof.
Kids often take to the internet and social media like a fish to water. But while the fun parts of the online experience like chatting with friends and taking selfies can be easy to navigate, kids often need guidance when it comes to the murkier depths, like personal security.
That's the purpose of the Safer Internet Day program. Held Tuesday February 6, it's billed as a "worldwide event aimed at promoting the safe and positive use of digital technology for all users, especially children and teens." The program this year includes a conference held in Austin, Texas and Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will speak.
The campaign originally started in Europe a decade ago. But gained official recognition in 2012 after a joint agreement between Homeland Security Department and the European Commission. The internet landscape has changed a lot since then. Popular sites like Instagram and Snapchat, for example, hadn't launched yet.
The 2018 program will have an emphasis on media literacy:
#SID2018 #TopTips for #parents: #FakeNews is on the rise – talk to you children about how to separate fact from fiction, and verify the information they find online! https://t.co/t2IzXMzdsD pic.twitter.com/Ps8nuxk1WA— Safer Internet Day (@safeinternetday) February 5, 2018
As well as stopping cyberbullying:
#SID2018 #TopTips: if you stumbled across something abusive online, you should block unwanted followers and report any post you find offensive! #SaferInternetDay https://t.co/ZXExQYvZTa pic.twitter.com/ZAyPdnp9Hc— Safer Internet Day (@safeinternetday) February 4, 2018
While most of the programming is for middle and high school students, there's also programming for parents on how to keep their kids safe online:
#SID2018 #TopTips: Struggling to keep up with all the latest #apps and online platforms your kids use? Check out the Guide to Online Services on the #BI4K portal: https://t.co/dyhvtzsDC2 pic.twitter.com/orL85ZlNCr— Safer Internet Day (@safeinternetday) February 4, 2018
Those interested can check out the livestream for the main event here.