More young people speak up about online worries as a result of Safer Internet Day 2023

20 Jun 2023 UK SIC

Figures from the UK Safer Internet Centre have shown how the success of Safer Internet Day led to more young people talking about their life online, crucially including about things that were worrying them.

Safer Internet Day 2023, which was celebrated globally and organised by the UKSIC in the UK, reached half of children aged 8-17 – with 24% of those young people speaking to a parent or carer about something that had been worrying them online.

The day also resulted in 69% of young people being more confident about what to do if something is worrying them online whilst two thirds said they started a conversation with someone about staying safe on the internet.

Other findings in the day saw our education resources downloaded 219,153 times with 45,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers accessing our top tips and advice pages on the day. Feedback from almost half of teachers said the day led to disclosures about potential safeguarding issues online.

Although young people remained at the centre of the Safer Internet Day celebrations, we also found that an increasing number of parents and carers also grew in confidence when it came to discussing internet life with their children – with more than a third (37%) hearing about the day.

Of these, a third said their child spoke to them about something that was worrying them online, whilst 70% said they had spoken with their child about using the internet safely.

Safer Internet Day, which took place on the 7th of February this year, also saw more than 5,000 organisations sign up as official supporters, helping to amplify the reach and impact of the day. These groups included schools, police forces, government bodies, tech industry, charities, teaching unions, football clubs and many more.

This support helped us push Safer Internet Day to a wider audience with the UK Safer Internet Centre holding events in London at the BT Tower and with MPs at Westminster and, for local schools in Liverpool, at both Liverpool and Everton football clubs.

Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, and Childnet CEO, Will Gardner OBE said: “These reach and impact figures are enormous and a real sign that Safer Internet Day continues to have a substantial and positive impact, and demonstrates the need for information and support on this important part of all our lives.

“The world of online safety is a complicated and evolving space and it’s imperative that we push to ensure that everyone has the knowledge and skills to get the most out of new technology and to manage risks they may encounter online.

“Our focus for Safer Internet Day this year was to start those important conversations, and our figures show that it was brilliantly successful in doing that – with three quarters of parents and carers telling us they’ll be having regular conversations with their children about what their life online.

“We will continue to move forward by sharing our expertise, experiences, free resources and advice to those who need it, and we encourage everyone to continue to have these regular conversations about life online – whether that be with a friend, parent, carer, or trusted adult.

“The reach and impact of the day is down to the huge support across the UK, and thanks must go to all those who supported the day and continue to spread online safety messaging to all young people and those who support them. We look forward to progressing even more in 2024.”

Click here for more on the Safer Internet Day 2023, Impact Report.

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