Since its advent, the Internet has become an indispensable part of our daily lives. What was once considered a luxury has now quickly turned into a necessity. Aside from being a communication tool, the internet has influenced both public and private spheres of human life. However, the internet’s wide access has also opened the doors for numerous risks such as cyberbullying, phishing, a threat to private information, malware, and many more. The second day of the second week of the second month is celebrated annually as the Safer Internet Day to promote a safer internet across the world. This year’s theme is “Together for a better internet” for students, young adults, and elders.
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What Is Safer Internet Day?
The 18th edition of Safer Internet Day will be commemorated on 9th February this year. Safer Internet Day was the brainchild of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and is now a venture of Insafe/ INHOPE organization, with the European Commission’s support. The Safer Internet Day has extended beyond its target geographical location and is now observed in approximately 170 countries worldwide. With the theme of ‘Together for a better Internet, this initiative aims to raise awareness about numerous online issues and promote the safe and positive use of the internet, especially among children and youngsters.
According to the European Commission website, SID is described as “an international event taking place in February every year, which promotes a safer and more responsible use of technology and mobile phones by children and young people across the world.”
Why Is It Celebrated?
According to the Internet Watch Foundation over 50,000 links were found that contained child sexual abuse material and as per another report, 1 in 3 children have experienced cyberbullying. These statistics reveal an ugly reality that digital technology is dangerous to children. An initiative like Safer Internet Day was introduced to combat such issues and create a rich, conducive and healthy internet space for children and adults alike.
Safer Internet Day was first initiated as a part of the EU’s ‘Better Internet for Kids’ policy which aims to increase better quality content for children and youngsters
As per SID website, this initiative aims to create “both a safer and a better internet, where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. The campaign aims to reach out to children and young people, parents and carers, teachers, educators and social workers, as well as industry, decision-makers and politicians, to encourage everyone to play their part in creating a better internet.”
To increase its reach, Safer Internet Day committees were introduced to strengthen the bonds with other countries and facilitate a harmonised promotion of the campaign. Currently, over 100 SID committees are in function across the globe.
Safer Internet Day In India
The SID committee operating in India is the Delhi based NGO, DISC (Developing Safe Internet Safe Committee). DISC comprises IT professionals and social engineers from various parts of India and the Middle East. It aims to support developing countries in developing online safety strategies and provide resources to assist in their implementation. The core functions of the DISC include
DISC commemorates Safer Internet Day every year by organizing awareness campaigns and events across schools and colleges, workshops and discussions with experts in fields related to internet safety so that we can move towards becoming Digital India but with safety.
How Can You Celebrate Safer Internet Day?
Safer Internet Day can be a great opportunity for you to do your bit in contributing to creating a safer online space and an online kinder community. To be involved in the celebrations, one could
- Can take the Safer Internet Day quiz
- Can read the Safer Internet Day Tips
- Watch various SID films for awareness.
- Organize debates and discussions surrounding the issue.
- Organize poster competition in schools.
Tips To Ensure Internet Safety
Apart from celebrating safer internet day, here are a a few tips you can follow to ensure internet safety.
- Perform Google security check: Visit www.google.com and take the 2-minute security checkup to strengthen your account.
- Password Safety: Always use strong passwords that include alphanumeric and special characters. Weak passwords such as name, 123456, phone numbers can make it guessable and compromise your safety. Two-factor authentication can also help keep your accounts secure.
- Installing random apps without checking their reliability: While downloading apps may be seemingly harmless, it is one of the most common mistakes that compromise internet safety. Smartphones have sensitive and private information which may get misused in the process.
- Updating security options: Downloading firewalls and anti-virus software and updating them can prevent potential cyber-attacks and protect sensitive information from being misused.
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This was all about the Safer Internet Day 2021. We hope it provided all the essential information you needed to use the internet safely. We must be careful so that we do not fall into the trap of cyberbullies who can turn our entertainment and work into a nightmare. Be smart; be safe. For more such informative content stay connected with Leverage Edu. Follow us on Facebook, Quora, LinkedIn and Instagram.