In 1999, the European Commission created the Safer Internet Programme which lead to the creation of Insafe, a European network of awareness centers to promote the safe, responsible use of the Internet for young people.
And, in 2004, the programme created an annual event called Safer Internet Day that takes place on the second day, of the second week of the second month. This year that’s Tuesday, February 6th.
Although activities are coordinated among European Insafe countries, the actual day’s events take place in individual countries and include a variety of awareness campaigns in schools, in auditoriums and in public places. And it’s not just Internet safety groups that participate. In the U.K., the BBC is broadcasting special programming on Tuesday while the British Post Office will be displaying Internet safety videos on screens normally used to advertise postal products.
Currently there is no official U.S. Safer Internet Day program, but different non-profits and companies are recognizing the day with their own programs. Microsoft, for example is organizing a “Connect with Respect” live Twitter party on February 5 from 11:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Pacific Time” and a Safer Online Teen Challenge. Click here for more on Microsoft’s Safer Internet Day plans.
The Family Online Safety Institute’s Platform for Good has launched its “pledge for good,” and, beginning on Tuesday, you’ll be able to take the pledge on the organization’s website and Facebook page.
To learn a little more about Safer Internet day, ConnectSafely.org co-director Larry Magid spoke with Janice Richardson, project manager for inSafe, the European Commission initiative that coordinates Safer Internet Day. Larry also spoke with Will Gardner, the CEO of Childnet International, a London-based non-profit that runs the UK Safer Internet Centre.