In an age where being online is just another fact of life, it’s easy for us, as adults, to take for granted that the internet has everything we need and more. But in that vast expanse of knowledge and convenience, there are some darker corners where not everything’s as it may seem.
The world’s changed a great deal over the last generation. Those of us who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s generally spent our time at a local playground, skipping off home as the sun began to set. These days, we’d rather keep our kids within sight. And yet, with so many ways for them to get online, many of our kids are allowed to roam freely across the wonderful playground we call the internet, dark corners and all.
The aim of Safer Internet Day is to remind us that the internet, for all its wonders, can be a dangerous place for vulnerable youngsters – and to help everyone’s surfing session be as safe as possible. Every year, Safer Internet Day centres around a theme. For 2012, that theme is Connecting Generations – encouraging people of all ages to share their experience and discover the digital world together, safely.
At O2, we’re in a unique position to be able to help our customers safeguard their online usage through our Think Big programme, and O2 Learn. We have our own Child Protection Team and a dedicated area on our website to help parents ensure their kids are safe online. We’ll be holding safety awareness days for our people, as well as taking part in public events such as Engagelive and SID Radio.
Fay Morris, our Lead Child Protection Coordinator, will be visiting schools in the week around Safer Internet Day, leading sessions on internet safety. We’ll be uploading one of Fay’s sessions to O2 Learn, along with material from the Child Exploitation & Online Protection centre (CEOP).
Organised by Insafe, Safer Internet Day’s an important date for anyone who has ties with a digitally-connected youngster. Protecting our children in the online wilderness is an absolute necessity and on February 7 2012, we’ll be joining the rest of the Telefónica family in spreading the word as far as we can. We hope you’ll join us.