Safer Internet Day 2021: An Internet We Trust

08 Feb 2021

5 mins
Safer Internet Day 2021 - An Internet We Trust
Safer Internet Day 2021 - An Internet We Trust

Safer Internet Day (9 February) has arrived and considering the amount of time teachers, young people and pretty much all of us are spending online during lockdown and the resulting heightened online safety risks, the conversations it facilitates feel particularly important.

Below, you can discover more about this year's theme, our own most important resources around internet safety, activities directly from the UK Safer Internet Centre, and some highlights from the online event that just took place.

Safer Internet Day 2021 is centred on the theme, 'An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world'. This involves focusing on how we can decide what to trust online, supporting young people to question, challenge and change the online world for the better.

The day will look at the emotional impact navigating a misleading online world can have on young people and why it is important to create a supportive, critical and questioning culture online that encourages debate and discussion. Ultimately, this will give young people the skills to support one another, and the strategies to spot and speak out against harmful and misleading content online. Meanwhile, a large focus on misinformation and 'fake news' will equip young people with the skills they need to spot inaccurate content, which can sometimes be a complex task. Once young people feel more comfortable separating fact from fiction it is important that we then help them to take the next steps in helping to create an internet full of trustworthy and reliable information.

The best Into Film material for the day includes our Online Safety page, which provides 'Staying Safe Online' resources across all age ranges and a great video interview with Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and Childnet CEO Will Gardner. Meanwhile, our Internet Safety film list includes 15 films for primary and secondary classes that can be a launch pad for discussing a huge range of relevant topics.

The films in the above list that are most related to this year's theme are:

The UK Safer Internet Centre has a variety of options available, most of which cater to remote learning. Their main page provides an overview of the resources available and two pre-recorded assemblies for primary and secondary students are a great starting point for the day's celebrations. Their Safer Internet Day films are engaging, short videos that aim to help young people delve deeper into their ideas around trust and reliability online and the Safer Internet Day quiz is designed to help young people test their online safety knowledge, from checking headlines to spotting sponsored content.

As for the Safer Internet Day event itself, Will Gardner summed it well:

We're calling this the most important Safer Internet Day we've ever had to reflect the fact that in general, young people have had to change the way they live and learn over the last year. They've been online more than ever before.

Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and Childnet CEO, Will Gardner

He then presented some crucial figures that showed the importance of this year's theme - the UK Safer Internet Centre has found that 51% of 8-17 year olds surveyed are seeing more misleading information than ever before and 48% are seeing misleading content at least once a day. 91% reported feeling a negative emotional impact from this, such as feeling scared, angry or attacked. Luckily, the brilliant young people involved in the event are more aware than ever before of the need to address this issue and the simple things everyone can do:

Now that I've fallen for it, I know how to find out if it's misleading information. My tip would be check trusted websites such as the BBC, ITV or Google. If I find anything that I don't think is trustworthy, I will check one of those and if it's not there, I will always check back in a few days. We're using the internet more than ever and not only that but we're using it for educational purposes, which can make us question what we're believing and learning online. The internet should be a safe space for all.

Daniel, Youth Panelist for the UK Safer Internet Centre

There's so much information online that it's become almost second nature to check everything.

Cosama (15)

There's never been a better time to get involved with Safer Internet Day, either through the many available resources, social media or even the new Guinness World Record attempt from the UK Safer Internet Centre and 2Simple, who are trying to get the most pledges received for an internet safety campaign in 24 hours.

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