Safer Internet Centres (SIC) usually offer three kinds of services:
- a national awareness centre organised by the Insafe network
- a helpline, also organised by Insafe
- a hotline organised through the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE).
Safer Internet Centres also rely on advice of young people through youth panels. SICs are currently co-funded by the European Commission under the Connecting Europe Facility programme. They operate in EU Member States as well as in Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom. Under the new financing framework, the actions will be funded through the Digital Europe Programme.
Safer Internet Centres co-operate and exchange resources and best practices at EU level through the portal betterinternetforkids.eu, the EU hub for child online safety.
What do awareness centres do?
- Raise awareness of online safety and of potential risks that young people may encounter online
- Observe emerging trends
- Run campaigns and develop information material for parents, children and teachers
- Organise information sessions and events, the biggest of which is the yearly Safer Internet Day, celebrated in over 170 countries worldwide in 2020
- Work towards empowering children, young people, parents, carers and teachers so that they are equipped with the necessary skills and strategies to benefit from the opportunities digital technology may bring
What do helplines do?
Helplines give advice to young people, parents and carers on harmful content, contact and conduct online. They deal with issues such as cyberbullying, grooming and data privacy but also with relationship issues online.
What do hotlines do?
Hotlines give members of the public a channel to report illegal content (such as child sexual abuse material) anonymously.
What do youth panels do?
Youth panels aim to empower young people by giving them a joint platform to express and exchange their views and knowledge on online technologies. They can also share and innovate new resources, both at national and at European level. Youth panel members act as ambassadors towards for peers, giving advice on how to stay safe online.
What does the betterinternetforkids.eu platform offer?
- Gives information on latest online trends and apps and the most recent technological developments
- Brings together experts and other relevant stakeholders around child online safety and provides them with guidance and capacity building opportunities and events, such as training meetings to Safer Internet Centres or the yearly Safer Internet Forum
- Coordinates the yearly flagship event Safer Internet Day
- Offers a repository of educational resources and videos, in all EU languages, helping children and young people, parents and teachers to discover the online world safely