What you should do on Safer Internet Day

Mums and dads across the UK, and Europe, are today being asked to discuss internet safety with their children, whether they are 3 or 18

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Families all around the UK are being encouraged to discover the digital world together today, as activities get underway to mark Safer Internet Day, 2012. It’s the 9th edition of the annual global event and this year’s theme – Connecting Generations – highlights the benefits of sharing internet safety know-how at home.

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In conjunction with Safer Internet Day, MadeForMums hosted a live Twitter chat yesterday with Childnet. MadeForMums will also be at the Department of Education today along with representatives from Facebook, Google and Microsoft for focus groups around internet safety – look out for more news on this, tomorrow.

It’s no surprise that children as young as two or three have started using the internet through smartphones, iPads and computers, so it’s vital you start talking about the internet and internet-safety as soon as possible.

Over 70% of 9–16 year olds feel they benefit from talking to their parents about their internet use, according to new research by EU Kids Online Project. Parents who talk to their children about the internet help to protect against potential online risks without reducing online opportunities. The benefits of active discussion include: lower risk, lower harm, access to more online activities and access to a greater level of skills. 

As its Safer Internet Day, make it today that you sit down with your child, no matter what their age, and chat about what she’s up to online.

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As a start, why not take this quick family Internet Safety IQ Test to help test out your internet safety know-how together? The quiz, launched by the UK Safer Internet Centre, covers safety issues related tosocial networks, online entertainment, internet-gaming and mobiles – and awards users with an Internet Safety IQ score. It also provides top tips on how to discover the digital world safely, from how to secure privacy settings, to how to enjoy film and music from safe, official websites.

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