Record-breaking Safer Internet Day reaches more than half of young people
This year’s event, which took place on February 8th and focused on online games, saw more than 3,000 organisations across the UK register as supporters – helping to make it the most successful Safer Internet Day ever.
Co-ordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day has grown to become a fixture in the calendar of schools and many other organisations, spanning the internet industry, charities, government and police services.
The goal is to generate key conversations between children and parents and carers, and schools and children, with the aim of raising awareness beyond a single day.
And with Ofcom’s latest research showing that two thirds of children aged 8-11 have multiple accounts or profiles, and almost half of these have an account just for their family to see, messaging around the safe and positive use of technology has never been more important.
More confidence online
As a result of this year’s Safer Internet Day, 80% of young people reached now feel more confident about what to do if they are worried about something online, with 84% having a better understanding of how to stay safe playing online games, and 42% talking to a friend about using the internet safely.
Additionally, Safer Internet Day is generating conversations between children and young people, and their parents, carers, and teachers. 67% of UK parents and carers of 8-17 years olds reached reported that they have spoken to their children about playing online safely, and 69% said they understand more about how to keep their child safe online.
Overall, 32% of UK parents and carers of 8-17 years olds heard about Safer Internet Day in 2022, a 6% increase when compared to 2020. Furthermore, 41% of teachers reported that the day led to disclosures about potential safeguarding issues online.
“We know that the amazing work across the UK for Safer Internet Day has a measurable impact on our young people and, after reaching more than ever this year, it’s a pivotal time to reflect on how we take this support beyond the day itself.
“Internet safety is more important than ever, and last week’s Ofcom research reinforces what we know – there are challenges for young people to overcome online, but if we give them the tools it can have a positive impact on their lives.
“It’s crucial that we continue pushing the internet industry to play its part, but also to reach out and engage others to help support and empower our nation’s young people.
“We’re calling on the government, policymakers, and the industry to take the conversation beyond just a day and come together for a better internet.”
Will Gardner, OBE, a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre