Over the years, Safer Internet Day (SID) has become a landmark event in the online safety calendar. It started in 2004 under the first safer internet action plan, as an initiative of the EU-funded SafeBorders project. It was then taken up by Insafe, the network of Safer Internet Centres. Now, Safer Internet Day has grown beyond its traditional geographic zone and is celebrated in around 200 countries and territories across all continents, and reaches millions of people worldwide.
Each year SID calls for action from the many players involved in providing a safer and better digital environment for young users, including:
- decision makers at EU, national and international levels
- industry representatives
- civil society organisations
- educators and parents
- young people themselves
The internet is a powerful tool with enormous opportunities for learning, enhancing skills and acquiring new abilities and knowledge, as highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with opportunities come risks. The goal of SID is to raise awareness, while at the same time taking concrete actions to provide protection for and empowerment of children and young people online.
The digital world knows no borders, and we need everyone to join in and work with others in a way that ensures a better digital experience for all of us, especially younger users.
‘Together for a better internet’
This year, which is also the European Year of Youth, Safer Internet Day celebrations took place on 8 February, under the familiar slogan ‘Together for a better internet’. The European Commission marked the day especially on social media:
- Vice-President Šuica and Commissioner Breton featured with young people to discuss children’s digital rights and online safety and the EU’s actions in those areas.
- A series of videos was published with Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Youth Ambassadors and Youth panellists from different corners of Europe talking about their priorities online, the importance of digital skills and their vision for better online experiences in the future.
- A live Twitter Spaces event was broadcast on how the EU is helping young people feel safer online through legislation and awareness raising.
In addition, the Better Internet for Kids annual report 2021 was published.
For SID 2020 the European Commission organised an expert workshop to explore the potential of artificial intelligence in fight against online child sexual abuse material and hosted a launch of the Youth Pledge, a youth-led co-creation process with industry partners.
SID 2019 was one of the milestones of the #SaferInternet4EU campaign, which had reached over 30 million people in 2018 with over 1800 new resources on online safety, media literacy and cyber hygiene.
The 2018 theme, ’Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you’ highlighted every user’s responsibility and role in engaging with others in a respectful way online. The #SaferInternet4EU campaign was launched.
Safer Internet Day 2016 encouraged each of us to play our own part – in other words taking the responsibility in our own hands.
The Safer Internet Day 2015 promoted the collaborative approach of all stakeholders – ‘Let's create better Internet together’
To discover resources on online safety and more information about the network of European Safer Internet Centres visit the Better Internet for Kids website.
To find out what is happening in your country check the Safer Internet Day website.