A password is like a key to the doors of the online universe. It protects personal information and secures access to profiles or accounts. It is essential to talk about confidentiality with children and encourage them to configure a strong password. To help adults doing so, the Belgian Safer Internet Centre is sharing a range of advice on the topic.
Within the European network of Safer Internet Centres, national awareness centres focus on raising awareness and understanding of safer internet issues and emerging trends. They run campaigns to empower children, young people, parents, carers and teachers with the skills, knowledge and strategies to stay safe online and take advantage of the opportunities that the internet and mobile technologies provide.
The network also works extensively with other stakeholders, such as the research community, industry and other NGOs, to extend the reach of key messages and awareness-raising actions.
On this page, you'll find a selection of articles corresponding to awareness-raising work.
To find contact details for your national awareness centre, visit your Safer Internet Centre profile page.
The Belgian Safer Internet Centre is sharing guidelines for children and youth, parents and educators to follow in order to deal with cyberbullying incidents that may potentially arise on social media.
Bullying and cyberbullying often come hand in hand. School bullying is easily repeated online and goes on at home. Dealing with cyberbullying is part of a global approach in the fight against school bullying. It is important to establish an open conversation about the phenomenon, with children and parents. To help in doing so, the Belgian Safer Internet Centre is sharing some tips below.
New challenges occur regularly online, especially following social media trends. Their popularity among children is variable. Prevention comes through a frank and straightforward dialogue with children and youth, even among those who seem not to be interested. Challenges often unfold privately, in a teenager’s bedroom for example, away from adults.
Child Focus and the private sector raise awareness for a secure and responsible use of internet among children
During the lockdown period, Child Focus noticed a considerable increase in online safety issues among children. In a year, non-consensual sexting and grooming cases have increased by 50 per cent and cases of sexual extortion of minors have doubled. Therefore, several companies have decided to include a commitment to a “better internet” in the goals of their corporate social responsibility.
Child Focus launched Girl Power Squad (GPS), a unique educational tool aimed at professionals in the youth welfare services working with vulnerable girls around the issue of teenage perpetrators of human trafficking. This tool is aimed at young girls aged 11 and older.
"Malika (the name is an alias) is 12 years old. After arguing with her family, she left home without her ID or smartphone. Malika’s mother is expecting her to come back later that night. She does not. Hours go by. Without any news, Child Focus opens a case and starts the research with the police. Everything is set up to find Malika in good health: call to witnesses, posters… But there are no solid leads. After three weeks of intense research, the young girl is finally found” says Miguel Torres Garcia, Deputy chief Operation officer at Child Focus. “Each year, we open about 700 cases like Malika’s”. What if Malika had a person she trusts to talk to? Someone who is available to listen to her? Do you think she would have chosen to run away from her problems?
Vânia Beliz is the author of several books on sex education. In an interview promoted by the Portuguese Safer Internet Centre and published in the Forum Estudante Magazine, the clinical psychologist specialising in sexology reflects on some of the main risks and consequences associated with combining sexuality and new technologies.
Safer Internet Day, the worldwide day for a better internet, was back for its 18th edition. Turning the internet into a fun, fulfilling and safe space is more than ever a priority during this public health crisis, where children massively use screens for social contacts. An intergenerational dialogue is even more essential, as more than 60 per cent of children use the internet for more than four hours a day in Belgium. How can we facilitate this dialogue and promote a responsible and creative use of social media?
Following the emergence and the successful spread of the #MeToo movement in Greece, the Greek Youth Panel was inspired to create a similar campaign targeted to Greek adults, children and youth. The #Speak (#Mila) campaign’s purpose is to raise awareness on sexual harassment and cyberbullying, and to encourage both victims and witnesses to speak up and break the silence on those issues.
Want to find out more about Safer Internet Centre (SIC) services and resources in your country?
Check out your SIC profile page to connect with national resources and sources of support, providing awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.