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What #SaferInternetDay2019 is and how you can get involved

Today is #SaferInternetDay2019 and Fitzrovia IT is taking part in bringing attention to this important cause 

Coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day helps promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. This year, Safer Internet Day aims to highlight the importance of consent in an online context with over 2,000 schools and organisations in the UK taking part.

As more and more young people take part in online activities at an ever-younger age, it is important to teach them – and ourselves – what consent is and how it is impacted by our online actions. Tagging friends in an Instagram post, sharing pictures on Facebook, or adding someone to a WhatsApp group are all part of the larger conversation about consent online.

This year, the UK Safer Internet Centre conducted a report via Censuswide to better understand the online experiences of young people aged 8-17 years

  • 65% of 8-17’s say they would feel disconnected from the world if they couldn’t be online, with 13-17’s significantly more likely to feel this way (72%) than 8-12’s (57%)
  • 81% of 8-17’s say they know when and how to ask for permission to post something about someone else, however 52% say someone they know shared a photo or video of them without asking them first
  • 46% of 8-17’s say they would feel ‘anxious or not in control’ when responding to the situation: ‘I saw something about me online that I didn’t want up there’.

The report highlighted areas of concern regarding online consent between children and their parents  

  • 84% of 8-17’s said they felt confident about asking a parent to take something down they posted about them online
  • 42% of 8-17’s said that in the last year, their parent shared something about them online without their permission

Young people, too, are becoming nervous about the depths of their online actions

  • 1 in 10 young people have thought about stopping using social media because they are worried that there’s too much information about them online
  • Only 14% of 8-17’s feel completely in control of what happens to their personal information online like their name, age and where they live

Taking responsibility to support young people 

To give young people the resources they need to learn about online consent, politicians, lawmakers, teachers, and more are coming together to make a difference.

“The internet can be an amazing resource. Used wisely, it can open up a world of information and learning, but as any parent knows only too well these days, with these benefits come serious and real dangers online,” said Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

Highlighting the need to empower children to navigate the online world in a safer manner, Hinds added, “We are making Relationships Education compulsory in all primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in all secondary schools, to sit alongside the existing Computing curriculum. Teachers will address online safety and appropriate behaviour in a way that is relevant to pupils’ lives.”

Will Gardner OBE, Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, also weighed in on the topic, sharing “It is vital that we – from an individual to an industry level – take responsibility to support young people to navigate consent online and put their positive attitudes into action.”

“We must move beyond advising them only on what they should do online, and work with them to understand how to do this in practice. In doing so, we can empower young people, and those that support them, to be better able to harness and use the positive power of the internet for good,” he added.

Learn more about Safer Internet Day 

For more information on Safer Internet Day, visit their official website, where you can find tons of useful information including tips for parents and carers, film, education packs, and more.

Learn about the security features you need to make the internet a safer environment 

Contact Fitzrovia IT at 020 3727 6020 to see how we can help.

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