Safer Internet Day

Let's be careful out there

More should be done to protect children online, according to the organisers of tomorrow's European "Safer Internet Day".

Sixteen European countries (Australia's taking part too) are taking part in the day of action as part of a coordinated campaign to defend "children's right to a safer Internet".

Described as a "celebration", it is being promoted under the Safer Internet Awareness campaign - SafeBorders - a project funded under the European Commission's Safer Internet programme.

Those behind the day want Government's to do more to provide information and tools to schools and families to help educate children about the dangers of being online.

They also believe that Governments should provide specific Internet safety training for teachers, social workers, librarians - in fact, anyone who works with children - in a bid to raise awareness.

Said even organisers in a statement: "The Safer Internet Day is the celebration of children’s right to a safer Internet.

"We want to explain what we do in order to defend children’s right to a safer Internet. We also want to remind people that it is the responsibility of all sectors in society to get involved together in order to guarantee this right."

In the UK, academics from the Cyberspace Research Unit at the University of Central Lancashire are teaming up with Becta (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) and the Home Office for a day-long conference in London.
Other countries are carrying out their own events including press conferences and ad campaigns.

The issue of children's online safety is now rarely out of the news. Last month, for example, the issue came sharply into focus following the publication of a report by children's charity NCH.

The report blamed the Net for a massive rise in child pornography and concluded that the ease of sharing and viewing images online has led to a huge increase in the volume of child porn available.

The report called on the Internet industry to do more to crackdown on the trade of illegal images.

The UK's Internet trade group, ISPA UK, defended the industry's record and commitment to stamping out illegal material online, insisting that it has an "ongoing commitment to assisting agencies involved in the protection of children on the Internet". ®

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