What Parents Need to Know about Safer Internet Day

Every year, Safer Internet Day (SID) is celebrated on the second day of the second week of February. The aim is for millions of people to unite and inspire positive changes online.
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 everybody, especially young people, to encourage them  to play their part in creating a better internet.
Safer Internet Day
By celebrating the positive power of the internet, the Safer Internet Day slogan of “Together for a better internet” encourages everyone to join the movement, to participate, and to make the most of the internet’s potential to bring people together.
To help you talk to your children about having a positive and safe time online, download this pack for parents and carers which includes conversation starters, a factsheet, family pledge card and more! [Take this Quiz here to see how Safe your child is online]
Some Actions Parents Can Take

Do you know what your children are doing online? It is important for parents to know this. In commemoration of Safer Internet Day, www.projectopeneyesng.com has shared a video of the final results of their survey of over 2000 children in Lagos on their online activities.

Children are making good use of the internet to do assignments, conduct research and connect with friends. However, there are also worrisome aspects of the Internet. The research shows that children are meeting strangers online and they end up engaging in questionable conversations. Children are also being coaxed to send nude or half naked pictures to strangers. They are not aware that the internet never forgets. As parents, we need to be aware of the pros and cons of using the internet so that we can have the right conversations with our children.

How can you ensure you are aware? Do not be an ostrich parent – don’t hide behind the excuse that you do not understand digital media or the online world. Be ready to learn and stay relevant.

Internet Age

There are several things you can do right now to get more aware about the online world and to take action. It really does start with you!
  1. Have your children take this quiz about online behaviour. you take it as well and see how much you know about being safe online – Take the Online Quiz here.
  2. The Better Internet for Kids (BIK) guide to online services aims to provide key information about some of the most popular apps, social networking sites and other platforms which are commonly being used by children and young people today. The guide will educate you so you can become more aware.
  3. Do not be an ostrich parent. Instead, be a Digital Savvy parent! You have to communicate with your child and know what they are doing online. Have a conversation with them and constantly remind them to think before they share. Here are some conversation starter guides for parents and caregivers and on this.  You can also download a teen phone contract here
  4. Some bad things do happen online and people, especially children need to know what to do. There are several ways to report any situation such as cyber bullying, on social media. There are also several steps to take for your privacy and to protect yourself online. Here is a link to resources and guides on how to be safe on various social media sites Social Media Safety Guides.  These include how to turn on Google Safe search, Tips for Parents from Instagram, Whatsapp safety tips among many others.
  5. Some video on safer internet.

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Safer Internet Day Rap

These are some resources for parents to get more information on how to keep children safe online.

You need to take action today for the sake of your children and so they do not fall victim. They could also wind up as a victim of their own actions. Every picture and action online has the probability of trailing your child’s reputation throughout life.

These conversations are also important for Nigerian parents in the situation that their children or wards are sent to a school in another Country with different laws. In the situation where they do not know what is inappropriate and they do something that lands them in trouble with the authorities – you would wish you had spoken to them earlier right? So have the conversation today before it becomes too late.

For some other videos about online safety watch here.

Also read here When should positive digital footprint education begin?

[Take this Quiz here to see how Safe your child is online]

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