A better internet starts with you…on Safer Internet Day 2018

On Tuesday, 6 February 2018, more than 140 countries worldwide, including all 28 countries of the European Union, along with many organisational supporters, celebrated Safer Internet Day (SID) for the fifteenth consecutive year. Initiated under the European Commission's Safer Internet Programme and now continuing under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which co-funds Safer Internet Centres in the member states, the day marks an annual opportunity to engage in making the internet a safer and better place for our children and young people.

Organised by the Insafe network (coordinated by European Schoolnet, a network of 34 European Ministries of Education) and INHOPE (the International Association of Internet Hotlines), the profile of Safer Internet Day has grown significantly over the years. This year's theme, "Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you", is a call to action for every stakeholder to play their part in creating a better internet for everyone and, in particular, the youngest users out there. More than that, it is an invitation for everyone to join in and engage with others in a respectful way in order to ensure a better digital experience.

Each year, thousands of exciting events and activities take place to mark the day and raise awareness of the issues, right across the globe. Find out what is happening in your country by visiting the Safer Internet Day website. A gallery of educational resources is also available on the site - schools and educators are encouraged to use it to help them raise awareness of safe and responsible use of the internet and other online services both in the classroom and with parents and carers, not just on SID but all year through.

We expect the SID 2018 celebrations to exceed last year's impressive numbers. -A Thunderclap has been released online this morning to mark the start of celebrations with a potential social reach of over 2.67 million people, and news and resources will be shared throughout the day on the campaign's Facebook and Twitter profiles.

As part of this year's celebrations, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will host an event at the European Parliament in Strasbourg where she will also launch the #SaferInternet4EU campaign – a series of initiatives running throughout 2018 to promote online safety, media literacy and cyber hygiene, making children, parents and teachers more aware of digital opportunities and challenges, and the various resources available to support them. #SaferInternet4EU is part of the recently adopted Digital Education Action Plan to support citizens, educational institutions and education systems to better adapt for life and work in an age of rapid digital change. The campaign federates efforts by different stakeholders at EU and national level involving key players in the digital and media landscape. Find out more on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal at www.betterinternetforkids.eu/saferinternet4eu.

Hans Martens, Digital Citizenship Programme Manager at European Schoolnet and Coordinator of the Insafe network said "Safer Internet Day is a key annual opportunity for us to promote and amplify the messages which we deliver daily through our wider Better Internet for Kids (BIK) and digital citizenship work. While children and young people have a right to enjoy and benefit from all the positives that digital technologies offer, they also have certain responsibilities, as indeed do all those who support them in their online experiences. We especially welcome the high-level focus which #SaferInternet4EU will bring beyond SID 2018. This will enable us to highlight the excellent work which is being delivered via the Insafe and INHOPE networks of Safer Internet Centres in Europe."

Sarah Willoughby, Content and Communications Expert and SID Campaign Coordinator at European Schoolnet who leads the global coordination activities for the campaign said: "There's been a real buzz to the build-up to Safer Internet Day 2018 which has seen us collaborate with more countries, supporters and partners across the globe than ever before. We can't wait to see the events unfold, and look forward to sharing the day's successes in our continuing work on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal and quarterly BIK bulletin".

Follow Safer Internet Day events on Twitter using #SID2018 and #SaferInternetDay.

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