The World Wide Web opened to the general public in 1991, making it almost 30 years old, and for many people today, it’s hard to remember what life was like before it became a routine part of our daily lives. For Generation Z in particular, who grew up using the Internet and social media, it can be hard to even imagine life without digital technology.
Yet while the internet has enabled many across the world to connect, learn and work, it has also come with its own set of problems, such as cyberbullying and cyberattacks, which have led to an increase in depression, unhappiness and stress, among many other issues.
Internet safety isn’t just for the adults, employees and business owners – it’s also for children and young people, and with almost 4.54 billion active internet users across the world (encompassing 59% of the global population), it’s vital to ensure that everyone is aware of the issues that now come as part and parcel of the internet and how they can help to make it a safer place.
How can we make the Internet a safer place?
Enter Safer Internet Day. Taking place every February on the 11th, Safer Internet Day aims to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. It is an EU wide initiative designed to promote a safer internet for all users, including adults but particularly for younger people and children, who are more vulnerable.
From cyber bullying to social networking, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns. This year’s focus is on encouraging everyone to come ‘together for a better internet‘ by being respectful of other users, seeking out positive opportunities to connect and reporting inappropriate or illegal content and behaviour online.
Whether you’re an employer, an employee, a parent or carer or a younger person, creating a better internet is a multi–stakeholder effort, and everyone has a responsibility to make a positive difference online. For more information on how you can take part and make changes, visit saferinternet.org.uk and start taking action today.