- This year, February 11 is being observed as Safer Internet Day (SID). The SID initiative first began in Europe, but is now recognised in around 150 countries worldwide. Last year, the Day was marked on February 5. Each year, the SID initiative aims to increase awareness about emerging online issues, such as cyberbullying, and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns. This year, the theme is “Together for a better internet”.
- The European Commission website describes SID as “an international event taking place in February every year, which promotes a safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones by children and young people across the world.”
- It is organised by the Insafe/INHOPE network of awareness centres, that is spread across 30 countries and is funded by the Connecting Europe Facility program (CEF) of the EU.
About Safer Internet Day (SID):
- SID was first initiated in 2004, and is as part of the EU’s ‘Better Internet for Kids’ policy, which aims to increase access to high-quality content for children and young people, increase awareness and empowerment, create a safe environment for children online, and fight against child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation.
- According to the SID website, the event aims to create “both a safer and a better internet, where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. The campaign aims to reach out to children and young people, parents and carers, teachers, educators and social workers, as well as industry, decision makers and politicians, to encourage everyone to play their part in creating a better internet.”
- To expand the initiative’s reach, Safer Internet Day Committees were introduced in 2009. According to the SID website, 100 such committees are currently in operation.
- In India, the New Delhi-based NGO DISC (Developing Internet Safe Community) Foundation is the SID Committee.