Making the Internet a Safer Place for Our Children

by Matt Huggins

Did you know it’s Safer Internet Day today? The global awareness-raising event plays an important role in promoting mutual respect online and the responsible use of technology. The latest research released to coincide with the event highlights perfectly the light and shade of the internet world. Some 40% of 8-17-year-olds said they’ve felt worried or anxious online in the past week, but on the other hand, 83% said they’ve experienced kindness on the internet over the past year.

At Trend Micro, we’re busy all week with a range of activities designed to promote the positive, while raising awareness of the dangers facing young people online.

What we’re doing
This year’s Safer Internet Day slogan is “Create, Connect and Share Respect: a better internet starts with you.” We’ll be doing our best to drive home that message through initiatives each day of the week:

Be smart with selfies: They’re a modern-day phenomenon, but how many of our kids understand the privacy risks they’re taking when they post their photos online? Our new video urges young people to think before they snap.

Be media literate: The advent of fake news has raised long overdue questions about our credulity online. If we train ourselves and our children to be more questioning of what we read on the internet, it could help save us from scams and insulate society from the scourge of alt-facts. This handy guide can help.

Be kind: Safer Internet Day isn’t just about warning children and families about the dark side of the web, it’s also about promoting and inspiring a better internet. To that end, we’re spreading a message of kindness this week. A little goes a long way.

Beware strange texts: Our children are more likely today to text and message than email — and the bad guys are only too aware. So we’re urging young people to be wary of any unsolicited messages. It could be a phishing missive designed to harvest personal info and/or spread malware.

Be balanced: As amazing as the internet is, we can’t let it overwhelm our children’s lives. That’s why Trend Micro’s final message of the week is to balance our on- and offline time.

A safer internet for kids and families
Our campaign all this week is part of a larger initiative Trend Micro has been running with great success for the past few years. Internet Safety for Kids and Families is our flagship CSR programme set-up to provide support and technologies to keep our children safe and promote good digital citizenship.

Most recently, we began focusing our outreach on community football clubs with the aim of improving parents’ cyber-skills and awareness, so they in turn can help keep the family safer online. From cyber-bullying to online scams, malware and privacy threats, the internet can be an intimidating place for a young person. But it also offers an amazing resource for studying and socialising. Hopefully with the right approach, we can get the most out of our digital world without falling foul of its darker side.

Please share our content and let us know if you’d like to get involved in our campaigns.

Happy Safer Internet Day!

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