Today, Feb 9, is being observed as #SaferInternetDay worldwide and I find myself asking a question over and over again, “Do you know how your kids are accessing the Internet? What your teens are using it for?” It doesn’t matter whether they are under 13 or not, the only thing that counts is how they are using the web.
We are relying more and more on Internet for goods and services related to all age groups and, so do our kids. You can’t always behave like Sherlock Holmes, spying them to know what they use the Internet for, but one thing you can surely do is aware them about online issues and threats so that they don’t flirt with danger.
In order to make the Internet a better place and to promote responsible behavior online, especially among kids; Net activists, parents, educators, geeks and many technological companies have been gathering every year on second Tue of Feb to celebrate the #SaferInternetDay2016.
Internationally, it is coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network with support from US Government and European Commission. This year’s commemoration will take place at Universal Studios Hollywood and Webcast.
The day offers multiple opportunities to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we play in creating a better and safer online community. The event will feature more than 300 students from Southern California followed by the students from different schools across the US.
WWE wrestlers, along with representatives from DoSomething.Org, Special Olympics, The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLLAD), StopBullying.org, National PTA and many other organizations, will deliver the keynotes of diversity and kindness the real world has.
The event will also feature Instagram star and student filmmaker Leo Sheng and other student leaders. WWE wrestler and reality star ‘The Miz’ will be seen making guest appearance during the event.
To splash the important event all over the world, SaferInternetDay.us/livestream will live-stream the event. Some roving high school student reporters will also cover a few portions of the event to be streamed via Periscope.
Other panels like Zoe Quinn, founder of Crash Override Network, will share her experiences as “Patient Zero” of Gamergate will also talk about her combat on online harassment. Tshaka Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of Digital Shepherd, will focus on how youth can create a difference in building a better and kinder Internet for all age groups.
The event will also cover student groups like Rejecting Hate and Building Resilience & Growing the Good Online. Under the guidance of Leo Sheng, Instagram Personality and transgender activist, these students will focus more on how youth can become activist for building more gentle and better Internet.
Tech companies, nonprofit organizations and governments will share some of the perplexing problems and issues that they grapple everyday and students will be asked to answer the critical questions related to such situations.
National partners like Comcast NBCUniversal, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Trend Micro, #CANHELP, the National Cyber Security Alliance and many more will also support Safer Internet Day.
The initiative still has some rough spots in it which are the subject of discussion but, celebrating this kind of event every year will take us one step closer to safeguard our kids from online threats and make Internet a better, kinder and safer place to be.