Better Internet for Kids launches two new good practice guides

One of the aims of the European Commission’s Better Internet for Kids programme is to build capacity in Europe (and beyond) for creating safer and better online experiences for children and young people. One way of doing this is by sharing good practices developed through work within the context of the Insafe and INHOPE networks of Safer Internet Centres and other key stakeholders. As such, two new good practice guides have recently been published.

Date 2024-04-04 Author BIK Team Section awareness, research
Woman writing on a notebook

The importance of awareness raising in better internet actions

One of the key aims in our sphere of work is to raise the awareness of various target groups (children, adolescents, parents, teachers, caregivers, and so on) on online safety, informing them on topical issues, and empowering them to develop their knowledge and competences to prevent or cope with online risks (Digital Strategy, European Commission). This can be done in various ways, including through campaigns and interventions.

In recent years, the calls for making these campaigns and interventions more evidence-based have increased. ‘Evidence-based’ means that practices, interventions, and campaigns are conducted and drafted based on information derived from objective evidence. Equally, evidence-based practice involves combining professional expertise with evidence from the (scientific) literature (Cambridge Dictionary; Jensen & Gerber).

The term ‘evidence-based’ originated in the medical sciences but is increasingly finding its way into other disciplines. Additionally, there have been increasing arguments to rely more on evidence as the basis for implementing educational programmes and practices (Slavin). It's also important to note that there are different layers in evidence-based practice, which range from personal experience (for example, 'gut feeling') to co-creation with the target audience (for example, consulting with children and young people), internal or external research, through to white papers and peer-reviewed academic publications.

A new good practice guide, published as part of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) project, focuses on how organisations concerned with children’s and young people’s safer internet use can create, pilot-test, and evaluate their online safety interventions and campaigns in an evidence-based manner. The guide - titled Evidence inspiring practice: Creating, pilot-testing, and evaluating evidence-based online safety interventions and awareness-raising campaigns - was developed based on a brief survey, conducted last year, to determine the extent to which Safer Internet Centres, and particularly their awareness centres, already adopt evidence-based practices.

Although the advice offered is primarily aimed towards Safer Internet Centres in their ongoing awareness-raising actions, it will equally be of interest to any stakeholder who wishes to create awareness-raising campaigns and actions.

Read or download the good practice guide here.

New good practice guide on cyberbullying and 116 111 helplines

Helplines provide information, advice and assistance to children, young people, and those who care for them on how to deal with harmful content, harmful contact (such as grooming), harmful conduct (such as cyberbullying or sexting) and contract issues (where the child is a consumer in the online space). Helplines can be accessed via a variety of means, such as by telephone, email, web forms, and online chat services.
A new good practice guide, developed in the framework of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) project, aims to improve cooperation between EU co-funded Safer Internet Centre helplines (part of the Insafe network) and other non-Insafe helplines which are running the 116 111 harmonised number and related online services.

Despite current actions, cyberbullying remains the most reported topic to the SIC helplines in the last decade. The guide, therefore, provides information about cyberbullying and how to best support children and young people who have been (or are being) affected by it. It also signposts to existing resources published by the Insafe network that can be used or referenced by other helplines, as well as parents, caregivers and educators, as appropriate. 

In addition, it offers suggestions for counsellors on how to provide specific support and guidance for young people who are victims of cyberbullying, including some case studies to exemplify the types of issues that helplines are dealing with.

Read or download the good practice guide here.

Enhancing the visibility of the 116 111 number to address cyberbullying is one of the provisions of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK+) strategy. Read more about the strategy on the Better Internet for Kids portal.

Take a look back at previous guides too...

The best-practice guideline on Age-appropriate design with youth (published in March 2021) explores ways to meaningfully engage with and involve young people in co-design processes for online services, and the rationale for adopting this approach. It highlights existing projects and provides case study examples, drawing especially on the recent Youth Pledge for a Better Internet initiative in which young people worked alongside industry members of the Alliance to better protect minors online to improve terms and conditions of use. This is also the topic of the March 2021 edition of the BIK bulletin.

The best-practice guideline on Children and young people with disabilities in an online world (also published in March 2021) specifically explores the opportunities and challenges of creating an inclusive world for children and young people online, building on the themes discussed at the Safer Internet Forum 2020 and in the December 2020 edition of the BIK bulletin. It considers the roles of different stakeholders, policy responses, and the responsibility of industry for ensuring accessibility by design. Importantly, it again reflects on the importance of involving children and young people in co-creation processes.

A recent Safer Internet Centre + (SIC+) pilot programme was established to foster knowledge sharing and capacity building on successful initiatives on online safety for children and young people, at regional and/or global level; to promote the development and implementation of innovative actions to increase the participation of third-country organisations in online safety initiatives and best practices, in particular education programmes and awareness-raising campaigns, as well as helpline and hotline services, while identifying possible areas for exchange and mutual learning; and to address common challenges in the field of online safety for children and young people by promoting cooperation with the current Insafe-INHOPE network, aiming for a closer integration of these initiatives in global actions. The best-practice guideline titled Learning from Safer Internet Centre (SIC) collaboration with non-EU organisations: The SIC+ pilot programme (published in April 2021) provides an overview of the initiative.

An earlier best-practice guide (published in February 2020)  delves into positive online content: what it is, why it is necessary, how children (aged 0-12) can benefit from it, and how its production and mainstreaming can be facilitated to reach as many users as possible. Read more on the guide and download a PDF in our article here.

To stay up to date on a range of practice issues, read the news articles on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) platform.

Related news