Safer Internet Day 2020 promotes the safe and positive use of digital technology, especially among children and young people
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced that today is Safer Internet Day (SID). This is a global event involving about 160 countries in support of creating a safer, more civil, and more secure internet. Safer Internet Day started as an initiative of the European Union’s SafeBorders project in 2004 and has grown each year. The event gained official recognition in the U.S. in 2012 and is supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the European Commission.
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The goal of Safer Internet Day is to promote the safe use of the internet and technology. Although this day intends to raise awareness for everyone who uses the internet it is emphasizes education with content for children and teens. The theme of SID 202 is “Together for a better internet.”
The official SID website has many resources available to use as teaching curriculum and guidance. Multi-lingual drills, practice material, and games can be downloaded from the Safer Internet website.
Parents and teachers are encouraged to teach children and teens to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively. Adults should keep and open dialogue with children and educate them about the respectful use technology in a safe and positive manner while behaving as good digital role models.
The European Union has been a leader in privacy laws with the enactment of the Global Data Protection Regulation commonly known as GDPR. This regulation allows European Union citizens to take control of their data and understand who has access to it. GDPR allows citizens to remove permission for the use of or even the storage of personally identifiable information. GDPR has resulted in sweeping changes to may country’s privacy laws.
Not only on Safer Internet Day, but every day, adults should remind their children on how to safeguard their privacy online. The consequences of over sharing should also be emphasized. Data privacy is a real concern that can have unintended, long term consequences like hacking and theft. Many apps track location data as well as shopping habits, contacts, and what type of web content is accessed. This information is often sold to advertisers and is considered by many to be an invasion of privacy.
Supporting companies in the United States include Google, Microsoft, NortonLifeLock, Facebook, Comcast, TikTok, Trend Micro, and NCTA – The Internet & Television Association. In the United States, in person events take place at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. These include a school program and Family Night. Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) are hosting events around the country to promote civility and online safety.
CISA Recommends the following topics and content for children, teachers, and parents:
- Keeping Children Safe Online
- Dealing with Cyberbullies
- Rethink Cyber Safety Rules and the Tech Talk with Your Teens
The first Safer Internet Day took place on 6 February 2004. It was celebrated in 13 European Union countries and Australia. Previous Safer Internet Days have sparked self-regulatory initiatives between the European Commission, tech, and telecom companies. SID receives industry support from social media and tech giants such as Google, Snap, Twitter, and Facebook.
Keith has 30 years of experience managing staff for the planning and design of highway, bridge and transportation-related projects and specialty structures. Keith oversees the development of and authors numerous reports on a variety of topics related to transportation engineering and has worked with several key clients on projects related to infrastructure security. Keith is a licensed professional engineer in the State of New York, currently a State Board member of the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York and is a licensed commercial pilot with an instrument rating. He resides in Western New York.