Image of Safer Internet Day 2023: “Want to talk about it?”

Safer Internet Day 2023: “Want to talk about it?”

What is the theme for Safer Internet Day 2023?

One of the major blockers that trusted adults face in protecting children and young people from online issues is that, very often, they aren’t even aware there is an issue. Parents and carers, for instance, might diligently do their research on any number of internet hazards … but if their child doesn’t feel able to tell them about a problem they’ve encountered online (or the parent can’t find the right moment to ask), then threats can fly under the radar. Until it’s too late.

Communication, therefore, is key. So we at National Online Safety were delighted to note that the sub-title of Safer Internet Day 2023 is ‘Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online’. Taking place on Tuesday 7 February, this year’s event aims to put children and young people’s voices at the heart of the online safety conversation. It’s equally important that adults – from parents to policy makers – genuinely listen to what young people have to say, so we can make positive changes together.

What can we do for Safer Internet Day?

Simply checking in with children regularly about experiences – both good and bad – in their digital life is a brilliant way to engage with what they’re currently into online, while also acting as an invaluable early warning system for any problems they might be having.

As many parents and carers will already be aware, however, these can be difficult conversations to have – often depending on the age of the child. Parents of little ones might feel that their child is too young for dialogue about internet dangers, for example. With teenagers, on the other hand, the worry is that asking to chat about their online activities might seem intrusive.

Explore our resources for Safer Internet Day

With the theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day in mind, we’ve produced a collection of resources that can help trusted adults to initiate – and, importantly, to maintain – open, honest conversations with children and young people about what they do and what they see when they’re online. We’ve got webinars exploring age-appropriate ways to encourage discussions about life online for nursery, primary and secondary phases, while our recent Wake up Wednesday guide offers some ‘quick win’ general tips for kicking these conversations off.

Why is Safer Internet Day celebrated?

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Safer Internet Day by UK Safer Internet Centre aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns – while promoting the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. Originally an EU project, it has gradually become a landmark in the online safety calendar and is now upheld in around 170 countries worldwide.

As always, this essential event has National Online Safety’s unwavering support. By fostering more regular, more informed and more candid conversations with young people about their experiences in the online space, we can learn what issues matter most to them, what changes they would like to see and how we can all play our part in shaping the internet into a less harmful environment for future generations.

Happy Safer Internet Day!