Safer Internet Day
Tuesday 6 February is Safer Internet Day (SID). This is an annual event around the world with the aim to encourage safer internet use. This year’s theme is ‘Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you’.
Taking place in 130 countries, Safer Internet Day is coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe. In Australia, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner is the official Committee for Safer Internet Day.
All of us, adults and students, are encouraged to think about our internet use generally and consider what ‘digital intelligence’ is. The online world can be unpredictable for young people and difficult to navigate, particularly when there is a difference of opinion or discrimination taking place both online and offline. Building digital intelligence in young people can help them manage relationships and respect differences.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner states that digital intelligence includes skills such as critical thinking, responsibility, respect, empathy and resilience. While it can take time and practice to identify and develop the range of skills that help us act with respect, we need to make it a regular practice to appreciate diverse perspectives, communicate with empathy, negotiate with people who are different to us and develop leadership skills.
Five simple considerations (presented below) can help to foster respectful relationships online and ensure students maintain a positive and healthy digital footprint. As parents, we can also role model the behaviours below to our children by asking their permission before sharing their image on our own feeds.
We need to remind students that once something is online or sent digitally via text or a messaging app, it can be permanent (even deleted posts can be saved as screenshots and redistributed). So it’s essential to think before you post.
- Ask before tagging someone in a photo or video
- Don't reveal people's personal information
- Share pictures or videos with consent only
- Recognise that others' opinions will be different to your own
- Only say online what you'd say to someone face-to-face
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner also plays an important role in helping to assist young people affected by cyberbullying. The latest statistics show that one in five young people have been the targets of bullying or hurtful comments online. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner works with social media companies to remove cyberbullying material. Young people can make a complaint or report serious cyberbulling on the eSafety website here. The Commissioner can help to get posts and pics removed from social media companies if someone is being seriously cyberbullied.
Places to get help
Online issues like online hate, cyberbullying and abuse can cause serious distress and harm.
Parents may wish to keep these websites visible in the home so that their children know where to go for help if they have issues.
OFFICE OF THE ESAFETY COMMISSIONER
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner leads online safety education for the Australian Government and protects Australian children when they experience cyberbullying by administering a complaints scheme.The Office also deals with complaints about prohibited online content.
Ph: 1800 880 176
Kids Helpine is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
Ph: 1800 55 1800
eheadspace online and telephone service supports young people and their families going through a tough time. Group chat sessions are anonymous way to ask an expert questions and learn from other people's questions.
Ph: 1800 650 890
To read more about Social Internet Day, visit the safety Commissioner website here
#SID2018 or #SaferInternetDay