The BeSmartOnline team started the celebrations two weeks before and continued for a week after the official day on February 7th.
On February 4th, the team conducted a public awareness campaign in the country's capital city, where children and families were encouraged to learn more about online safety. The outreach featured a variety of activities for all ages, including informational stalls, photo opportunities, crafts, and resources for adults.
The outreach was widely covered by national media stations, including both TV and online platforms. In addition, the team conducted several TV and radio interviews, published an article in a local newspaper, and organised seven sessions in national schools to discuss online risks with 9 to 11 year old children and their parents.
The BeSmartOnline team also worked with a vulnerable group to provide hands-on experiences and discuss online risks, including those with disabilities and mental health challenges. Additionally, the team made an appearance at the I Choose fair, which targets teenagers who are about to leave school to help them with their career choice. During the fair, the team took the opportunity to promote SID activities while also discussing their role within the Maltese Safer Internet Centre. The youth panel also created a video discussing cyberbullying and promoting kindness and respect.
The BesmartOnline team also launched two activities for students to participate in. One event was for students to create art depicting cyberbullying and internet safety, with the possibility of their art being exhibited. The other was a music competition, with the same themes, and the possibility of having up to three songs selected for the next Safer Internet Day in 2024. BeSmartOnline will help record and produce the winning songs.
Overall, the campaign was a resounding success, with high levels of participation from the public, increased interest from schools, and a notable increase in social media traffic.
Find out more about Safer Internet Day in Malta. Alternatively, find more information about the work of the Maltese Safer Internet Centre, including their awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for other Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.