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Brussels, 6 February 2012
Digital Agenda: Safer Internet Day 2012, linking up generations for a safer digital world
On Safer Internet Day tomorrow, 7th February, more than 100 events in 30 European countries will encourage children, their families and teachers, to discover the digital world together. This is the ninth annual Safer Internet Day, celebrated in more than 70 countries worldwide as part of a global drive to promote safer Internet for children and young people.
In Europe, Safer Internet Day is coordinated by INSAFE, the network of Safer Internet Centres funded by the Commission through the € 55 million Safer Internet Programme. This year's events include an online test for parents in Austria (testing their reactions to different situations related to their kids' use of online technologies); in France a new game for 7-12 year olds featuring the online adventures of Vinz and Lou, a "most responsible school" competition in Slovakia and surveys, information packs for pupils, parents and teachers, and awareness raising in all participating countries (see the Safer Internet Day site for more details of events in your area)
Keeping children safe online is an important part of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200). In December 2011, the Commission convened a coalition of 28 leading companies who have committed to making a better and safer Internet for children. (see IP/11/1485). Three more companies (Stardoll, Skyrock and Telecom Italia) joined the Coalition in January 2012. Companies have promised to deliver on five priority actions including: making it easier to report harmful content, ensuring privacy settings are age-appropriate, offering wider options for parental control and content classification, reflecting the needs of a generation that is going online at an increasingly young age. In addition to coordinating industry efforts, the Commission will present a comprehensive strategy for a safer Internet for kids in Spring 2012
This year's safer Internet Day campaign is focused on connecting generations, "Discover the digital world together…safely". Tech-savvy youngsters can teach older generations how to use new technologies, while parents and grandparents draw on their life experiences to advise younger generations on how to stay safe online.
According to the latest EU kids online survey 77% of 13-16 year olds and 38% of 9-12 year olds in Europe who use the Internet say they have a profile on a social networking site. However, children's apparent level of online experience is not always matched by confidence or skill.
Help from family and friends
Evidence suggests that both children and adults turn to their family and friends when they need help in the online world
INSAFE has 6 key tips to help parents and teachers in assisting their child to use the Internet safely. It suggests that parents and teachers should:
Follow Safer Internet Day 2012 on Twitter through hashtag #SID2012
Safer Internet Day website – discover events in your area
Safer Internet Day 2012 video Discover the digital world together: safely!
Safer Internet Day – general video