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Creating a better Internet for kids

The strategy for a better Internet for children provides actions to empower young people as they explore the digital world.

Around one in three internet users is a child, and these children are accessing the Internet at ever-younger ages across a diverse range of devices. They are spending more and more of their time on the Internet, browsing social media, playing online games and using mobile apps. This frequently happens without adult supervision.

While the Internet offers many opportunities for learning, communication, creativity and entertainment, it also opens up certain risks to vulnerable users such as children.

Children can be exposed to harmful content and behaviour online, such as cyberbullying, sexual harassment, pornography, violence, or self-harm. Efficient responses are needed to prevent negative consequences for their cognitive, social and emotional development.

The Commission wants to ensure young people have a safe and stimulating environment online while engaging with new technologies and spending time online. Indeed, new technologies such as artificial intelligence, increased connectivity, and augmented and virtual reality will cause an important shift in the way children engage and interact in society.

The European strategy for a better Internet for children provides a set of complementary measures, ranging from funding, coordination and self-regulation to help create a safer online environment. 

The Commission co-funds Safer Internet Centres in Member States (coordinated by Insafe), with the Better Internet for Kids portal as the single entry point for resources and sharing best practices across Europe. Their main task is to raise awareness and foster digital literacy among minors, parents and teachers. They also fight against online child sexual abuse material through its network of hotlines (INHOPE).

The Commission is facilitating the Alliance to better protect minors online, a self-regulatory initiative with leading ICT and media companies, civil society and industry associations tackling harmful online content and behaviour.

Awareness-raising is an essential element of online safety: every year, we celebrate Safer Internet Day, a worldwide event celebrated in around 170 countries, reaching millions of people across the globe through events and various activities.


Safer Internet Day 2021: A better internet for children and young people

Last Tuesday, 9 February 2021, was Safer Internet Day. Launched in 2004 and promoted by the EU-funded network of Safer Internet Centres in Member States, the day was celebrated online in more than 170 countries worldwide. The theme "Together for a better internet" is a call for everyone to join in making the internet a safer and better place, especially for children and young people.

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The Safer Internet Forum is the key annual international conference on child online safety in Europe.

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day promotes a safer and more responsible use of online technology by children and young people around the world.

Safer Internet Centres

Safer Internet Centres inform, advise and assist children, parents, teachers and carers on digital questions and fights against online child sexual abuse.

See Also

Digital privacy

The ePrivacy Directive and the General Data Protection Regulation help ensure digital privacy for EU citizens.