Safer Internet Day 2022: What is Safer Internet Day – and why is it important?

Today (February 8th) is Safer Internet Day 2022, which aims to raise awareness of the numerous safety issues facing internet users.

With the internet playing an increasingly prominent role in the social lives of children and young people – especially since the coronavirus pandemic, lockdown and social distancing – there’s a particular emphasis this year on ensuring their safety when they’re online.

So what exactly is Safer Internet Day, when does it take place every year – and why is it important?

READ MORE: Safer Internet Day 2022: How to keep your children safe when they game online

What is Safer Internet Day?

Safe Internet Day is an annual awareness day. Its organizers aim to draw attention to online safety issues and stimulate discussion about how to address them.

It first began in 2004 as an initiative of the SafeBorders project, funded by the European Union, but has since gone on to become an international event marked in more than 200 countries around the world.

Insafe, a European network of Safer Internet Centres, now organizes Safer Internet Day each year.

When is Safer Internet Day?

This year, Safer Internet Day takes place today – February 8th. Its theme for 2022 is ‘together for a better internet’.

Why is Safer Internet Day important?

There are growing concerns about online safety, particularly for children and young people – who have been spending more time on the internet in recent years due to the pandemic.

According to a survey from communications watchdog Ofcom, 40% of children have engaged in ‘risky behaviours’ online by the time they reach the age of 12.

These behaviors include sending photos or videos of themselves to strangers, adding someone as a contact despite having never met them, or simply doing something they know their parents wouldn’t want them to do.

Safer Internet Day is intended to raise awareness of issues such as these and encourage people to act on them.

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