Safer Internet Day is an annual international event which aims to raise awareness about the safe and responsible use of new technologies—especially among children and young people. Organised by Insafe, the European internet safety network, Safer Internet Day will take place on Tuesday 9 February 2010.
This year’s theme is ‘Think before you post’.
In 2009, Safer Internet Day was celebrated through 500 events in 50 countries all over the world.
Safer Internet Day activities are co-ordinated in Australia by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA). Australia has participated in Safer Internet Day celebrations since 2004, when the event was launched internationally by the European internet safety network, InSafe.
‘Think before you post’ is an important topic for young people as the risks are both personal and can have an impact on others.
The ACMA, through its national cybersafety education program, Cybersmart, will mark the day with a series of internet safety events and activities. These include:
- a Cybersmart Detectives activity involving schools across Australia
- Launching cybersafety-themed videos produced by children and young people on the Cybersmart website
- A ‘Hot Seat’ in children’s networking website SuperClubsPLUS Australia for upper primary and lower secondary school students
- A mailout to all Australian local councils and public libraries with Safer Internet Day posters and other cybersafety materials.
A broad network of partners supports Safer Internet Day across Australia.
Think before you post
‘Think before you post’ is an important internet safety message for children and young people. It applies to both their use of the internet and mobile phones. A simple technique of stopping to think about the consequences before sending or posting online may help to reduce the negative experiences online.
The Cybersmart website provides easy-to-recall tips which detail some of the most important points. These include:
- Think before you hit send or post. Once something is posted, it can be online forever.
- Don’t post anything you don’t want others to know—or that you wouldn’t say to them face to face. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
- Remember that private images and videos you send or post on a social networking site may be easily passed on to others and uploaded to public sites. Once they’re up, it’s almost impossible to remove them completely.
- Respect other people’s content and be aware that if you post or share their content it might breach copyright laws. For example, a photo that your friend took is their property, not yours. You can only post it online if you have their permission.
- Keep your personal information private. Don’t share personal details like your name, address or school with people you don’t already know in real life.
- If you plan to send private information to anyone using your mobile phone, talk to a trusted adult before you send. Be cautious.
For more information, visit www.cybersmart.gov.au
The ACMA’s Cybersmart program
The ACMA provides comprehensive cybersafety initiatives and education programs as part of the Australian Government’s cybersafety policy. The ACMA’s program, Cybersmart, includes undertaking targeted information and awareness-raising campaigns, activities and programs, developing cybersafety education materials for use in schools and at home, and researching current trends in cybersafety.
The Cybersmart program includes:
- The Cybersmart website www.cybersmart.gov.au. This website provides a comprehensive, one stop shop for cybersafety information aimed at young people, parents and teachers.
- Cybersmart Online Helpline service—provided by Kids Helpline, this service offers free, confidential online counselling to young people who have encountered negative experiences online. The Cybersmart Online Helpline is accessed through the Cybersmart website.
- Targeted information and awareness-raising campaigns and activities, such as Safer Internet Day and participating in National Child Protection Week.
- Developing cybersafety education materials for use in schools and at home. These programs are designed for children from 5 to 15 years and include Hector’s World™, CyberQuoll, CyberNetrix, Cybersmart Detectives and Wise up to IT.
- The Cybersafety Outreach program of Professional Development for Educators and general internet safety awareness presentations for parents, teachers and children.
- Researching current trends in cybersafety and young people’s use of online media.
- The Cybersafety Contact Centre offering callers information and advice about internet safety issues and concerns. Telephone 1800 880 176.
- A complaints hotline for members of the public to report offensive internet material. Visit: www.acma.gov.au/hotline.