Three Ways Your Business Should Celebrate Safer Internet Day on Feb. 6th

Begun by European Safer Internet Centres (SICs)’s Insafe in 2004, some 190 countries now observe Safer Internet Day. Apple, Google and Microsoft are among the companies offering their support. The annual event occurs February 6th this year in the US and addresses social networking, digital identity, cyberbullying and other emerging online issues and concerns that affect everyone from children and teenagers to businesses and industries. The 2024 Safer Internet Day theme “Together For A Better Internet” highlights the importance and effectiveness that results when individuals, educators, businesses and industries cooperate to purposefully create and maintain positive, constructive content and services to assist users in optimizing online technologies. 

Internet resources and social media are incredibly potent tools children, students and adults use to grow knowledge, research an almost unlimited number of subjects and improve themselves. But corresponding risks are also well documented. In January 2024, for example, New York City issued a health advisory designating social media as an environmental health toxin due to the growing associated privacy, addiction and mental health dangers. 

Adults, professionals and businesses can participate every day, not just on Safer Internet Day, by working together to develop platforms, maintain communications and publish content that makes the Internet a safer forum. Businesses can celebrate and support Safer Internet Day by taking three steps that make the Internet and work environments more constructive and effective. 

1. Create and Promote Positive Content and Safe Services

Insafe provides a free best practices guide to assist digital content creators in developing positive online material and services. The goal is to assist and ensure content proves age appropriate, safe and informative while also producing empowering online experiences. 

The guide emphasizes the importance and development of Positive Online Content (POC). The organization also maintains a POC criteria checklist to assist users, businesses and industries in building positive, empowering material. Insafe also provides a gallery of positive examples to serve as guidance other organizations can model and use for inspiration in developing their own unique content. 

The POC checklist assists digital content creators in building positive effective online communications.

The benefits and advantages of positive, constructive content are plentiful and impactful. Such material and services strengthen digital opportunities while simultaneously reducing potential risks, especially for children and youth. The availability of POC further extends learning and educational opportunities while also permitting younger audiences to engage with the Internet, businesses, services and industries. 

Producing POC results in yet other benefits, too. When businesses and industries offer their support, they assist parents, caregivers and others in overcoming challenges associated with encouraging children and youth to engage with the broader world. Positive online experiences, the guide notes, also strengthen children’s self-esteem and, by including everyone and helping broad audiences feel connected and represented, encourages inspiration, creativity and self-expression. 

2. Provide Clear Safety Advice and Instruction

There are several ways businesses and industries can unite and come “Together For A Better Internet.” Organizations, whether for-profit or nonprofit firms, can help shape the Internet and make online experiences more healthy and positive by employing three specific, particularly effective tactics. 

First, businesses can provide clear safety advice. Such assistance helps users, especially children and youth, better navigate the Internet and online services. Efforts could include social media and blog posts reinforcing proper Internet behavior and privacy guidance and reels and video clips providing safety recommendations. The Safer Internet Day website also includes a host of resources, including downloads, audio clips, videos and presentations, businesses and industries can promote or use as inspiration when creating their materials and communications. 

Second, organizations can offer easy-to-use safety tools. Such efforts further assist users in maintaining safe, healthy and positive online experiences. Both the Safer Internet Day and US ConnectSafely nonprofit organization–itself dedicated to educating connected technology users on the topics safety, privacy and security–offer resources organizations can employ to assist. Such tools include multiple ConnectSafely guides, including both comprehensive and shorter quick review versions, that organizations can repost and promote online and using social media as well as print and distribute at events. These pre-prepared materials are available in multiple languages and cover such topics as ransomware, cybersecurity, Instagram, creativity and copyright misinformation and media literacy, location sharing and privacy.  

Ready-made resources, such as this slide from a presentation designed to assist in recognizing false and inaccurate information on the internet, are among the tools Insafe provides on the Safer Internet Day website.

Third, firms can provide easily accessible support. Providing help, such as by maintaining a FAQ, offering assistance either by email, chat, phone or another customer service platform or responding quickly to reports of inappropriate or inaccurate social media and website posts,  ensures Internet users of all ages can access help whenever questions or potential trouble arises. Communication and education play important roles building effective, productive and healthy online experiences and the more parties that participate the better. 

3. Share Thoughts and Actions on Social Media

Another impactful way businesses can demonstrate their support for Safer Internet Day is to repost Safe Internet Day social media posts. Organizations can also publish their own supportive and promotional messages to help raise awareness of the event and its purpose. 

Businesses expressing their support should use the hashtags #SaferInternetDay and #SID2024. Suggested posts and visuals are available on the Safer Internet Day website, simplifying the process for businesses that wish to participate but are pressed for time. 

Insafe and the Safer Internet Day site note that, as is customary, many of the corresponding awareness campaign activities occur on social media. Subsequently, firms should check and revisit the campaign’s Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn profiles. Businesses can also monitor the #SaferInternetDay and #SID2024 hashtags and engage in corresponding discussions that originate worldwide. 

Together For A Better Internet

Private organizations and industries can help raise awareness and assist Insafe, ConnectSafely and others in making the Internet and online services more positive, constructive and effective for everyone from children and youth to adults and businesses. The more various groups and individuals cooperate, the better the online experiences, hence 2024’s motto: “Together For A Better Internet.” Your business can do its part by following any or all of the steps above.