Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people, and to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively. Safer Internet Day 2022 is on 8th February and will be celebrated with the theme: ‘All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online’.
It is important to speak directly with young people to be able to explore their experiences on different platforms where they can play games and have live interactions with their peers and others.
It is fair to say that these platforms play an important role in the lives of young people as it provides a ‘space’ where they can connect and collaborate, be creative and have a sense of community and belonging with each other.
When these spaces are used positively it can be a wealth of knowledge and a source of freedom for the young people, however, there are some emerging safety issues in these spaces as well as issues young people have been navigating for some time.
Albeit online, young people can experience a lack of respect from other users; groups ‘ganging up’ on each other and the ease of getting away with unwanted behaviour such as swearing and bullying.
Tips for young people to stay safe online
- Think before you post
Don’t upload or share anything you wouldn’t want your parents, carers, teachers, or future employers seeing. Once you post something, you lose control of it, especially if someone else screenshots or shares it.
- Don’t share personal details
Keep things like your address, phone number, full name, school, and date of birth private, and check what people can see in your privacy settings. Remember that people can use small clues like a school logo in a photo to find out a lot about you.
- Watch out for phishing and scams
Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them information, like your password. Someone might also try to trick you by saying they can make you famous or that they’re from a talent agency. Never click links from emails or messages that ask you to log in or share your details, even if you think they might be genuine. If you’re asked to log into a website, go to the app or site directly instead.
- Think about who you’re talking to
There are lots of ways that people try to trick you into trusting them online. Even if you like and trust someone you’ve met online, never share personal information with them like your address, full name, or where you go to school.(Find out more about grooming).
- Never give out your password
You should never give out your password or log-in information. Make sure you pick strong, easy to remember passwords.
- Cover your webcam
Some viruses will let someone access your webcam without you knowing, so make sure you cover your webcam whenever you’re not using it.
The FA have produced a range of guidance to help children and young people stay safe online. It covers football-specific topics relevant to those running clubs and leagues, or supporting young players, as well as more general online safeguarding issues.
download the guidance here