You know what would be great? If every day were “Safer Internet Day.” There is a lot for parents to be terrified of when it comes to the internet: online predators, cyberbullying, the prevalence of incredibly graphic and violent pornography, and so on. But complete avoidance isn’t an option if we want to teach our kids how to navigate the internet safely and wisely. So we created a holiday to help us along, and that holiday is today.
Safer Internet Day started in 2004 in Europe as an internet safety awareness campaign and is now celebrated in more than 100 countries, according to its website. It is hosted in the United States by ConnectSafely, a non-profit organization that is “dedicated to educating users of connected technology about safety, privacy and security.” Here’s a little more about the holiday:
Safer Internet Day aims to create both a safer and a better internet, where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. The campaign aims to reach out to children and young people, parents and carers, teachers, educators and social workers, as well as industry, decision makers and politicians, to encourage everyone to play their part in creating a better internet.
Participate in person
PTAs and YMCAs across the country have committed to hosting events today or in the coming weeks and months in support of Safer Internet Day. Google’s Be Internet Awesome program is partnering with key organizations, including the National PTA, ConnectSafely, Scholastic and YMCA, to offer workshops and trainings for families.
You can search available workshops with the YMCA and view the full list of participating PTAs.