Raising parental awareness of image sharing on SID 2018
Safer Internet Day (SID) was recently celebrated right across the globe. Read on to find out more about how the Maltese Safer Internet Centre (SIC) celebrated the day.
2018-03-18 Maltese Safer Internet Centre
Tuesday, 6 February 2018 marked Safer Internet Day and this year's theme was "Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you". In Malta, in an official statement, the Office of the Commissioner for Children commented that it is a call for action for every stakeholder to play their part in creating not only a safer internet but a better internet; an internet where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.
The Office also stated that it is committed to creating a better internet and forms part of the BeSmartOnline! campaign which brings together the Malta Communications Authority, Agenzija Appogg and the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes within the Ministry for Education and Employment. This initiative strives to safeguard children online and to ensure that they have positive online experiences.
In order to commemorate the day in Malta, several initiatives were undertaken. Schools were encouraged to organise activities for children; over 30 schools committed to celebrating this day by organising special assemblies, talks by professionals, lessons dedicated to online safety, crafts and storytelling. A poster highlighting children's digital rights was also disseminated among all year 5 and 6 students in state, church and independent schools across the country.
Internet service providers (ISPs) in Malta are key stakeholders in the creation of a better internet and they offer continuous support. In order to mark Safer Internet Day, ISPs joined forces with the BeSmartOline! team to distribute a leaflet dealing with the growing number of toys connected to the internet - commonly known as the internet of toys. The leaflet aims to help parents cope with the challenges of this new environment. It also provides parents with a checklist of what to consider when it comes to the safety of their children when playing with such toys.
Various efforts were made in order to reach parents, carers, relatives and other significant people in the lives of children and young people. To this end, a stand was set up at The Point Shopping Mall on 12 February 2018 in order to disseminate information and create awareness.
According to a research study carried out by Nominet, entitled "Share with care", the average parent shares nearly 1,500 photos of their children before their fifth birthday. With this in mind, the BeSmartOnline! initiative disseminated a flyer to numerous households in Malta and Gozo with the aim of encouraging parents and guardians to think before sharing certain photos of their children online since, once something is shared online, it is permanent.
In summary, the internet offers many opportunities for children and we all should take an active role in encouraging them to explore these opportunities and to use the new technologies to develop their interests and their talents. Initiatives such as Safer Internet Day help to raise awareness.
See the Maltese Safer Internet Day profile page for further information.
Find out more about the work of the Maltese Safer Internet Centre (SIC), including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.