Safer Internet Day is the annual international event organised by Safer Internet Centre, which calls for nations across the globe to unite, with the aim of making the internet a better place for all. Each year is celebrated with a different theme and this year the focus is, ‘Together for a better internet’.
According to a 2017 survey carried out by Ofcom, 79% of children aged 5-7 spend 9 hours per week online, 94% of 8-11 years olds spend an average of 13 ½ hours online and a staggering 99% of 12-15 year olds spend a whopping 21 hours online every week. Furthermore, a survey conducted by BullyingUK identified that 56% of young people have seen others being bullied online, with 42% saying they had themselves felt unsafe online.
Children and young people are some of the most vulnerable and at risk of exploitation online. We feel passionately that children and young people should be able to enjoy the internet and harness it’s benefits including: creativity, entertainment and learning, without the risk of harm. Therefore, we are initiating excellent training, carried out by our very own CEOP qualified staff member who also provides help and support to foster carers and social workers with whatever online questions they have. We also have a fantastic online portal available only to our foster carers, with videos and documents featuring everything related to online safety.
However, it is also important that children and young people know how to use the internet appropriately themselves. In aid of Safer Internet Day, we have collated a list of top tips for children to keep safe online and a fun online quiz.
Our top 5 tips for children and young people for staying safe online:
- Be careful what you share online – When you post something online it can be hard to take back. Whether that is a comment, image or video. Everything you share becomes part of your ‘digital footprint’. Make sure you check your privacy settings regularly, on your devices and your social media profiles and apps. Take care when choosing a profile picture that it does not reveal to strangers where you might live and always check your location settings, it’s sometimes best to turn some of these off.
- Think before you post – Once something is online it is not private anymore. Think about what you are posting before you do it. Would you want your teacher, parents/carers to see it? If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t be putting it online.
- Never share or reveal your passwords – It is important to use strong passwords that can’t be easily guessed, for example, by using a mix of numbers, letters and special characters (!$?@&). Keep passwords only to yourself and change them regularly.
- Be careful who you chat to- Not everyone online is who they say they are. If somebody you don’t know in real life adds you as a friend, delete their request. Never share personal information or meet up with somebody online who you don’t know.
- Remember your manners- It is easy when you are sitting behind a device to say something that you wouldn’t say in real life. Remember your manners when you’re online and don’t post hurtful, rude or mean comments.
Take our quiz!
This quiz is designed for children and young people, but anyone can have a go. See if you can reach the top score!