ConnectSafely.org named US host for Safer Internet Day

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Washington, D.C., November 6, 2013–Safer Internet Day, which has been celebrated throughout the world for the last 10 years, is about to get a big boost in the United States.

ConnectSafely.org has been appointed by INSAFE and the European Commission as the US host for the annual celebration, which happens on the second Tuesday of each February (this coming one: Feb. 11, 2014).

A well-established campaign that’s now marked in more than 100 countries, Safer Internet Day gained official recognition in the US in late 2012, when the Department of Homeland Security signed a joint agreement with the European Commission to work together to make the Internet better for youth.

The theme of this coming year’s event is “Let’s create a better Internet together.”

ConnectSafely’s plan is to make the US celebration of Safer Internet Day a highly collaborative project, with supporters from the Internet industry and partners representing a broad array of youth-serving organizations. We are launching a website (www.SaferInternetDay.us), organizing an awareness-raising campaign and planning an event in Washington DC on February 11.

“Our goal is not just to provide safety advice but to recognize all the great things that people of all ages are doing online,” said ConnectSafely.org co-director Larry Magid. “It’s time for policy makers and the media to realize that the vast majority of young people are using social media and mobile technology safely and responsibly.”

“We plan to celebrate all the great things young people are doing to make the Internet a better place – or the world a better place with the help of the Internet,” said co-director Anne Collier, “so we’re asking them to tweet about, talk about it in a short video or podcast, post about it on Facebook or send us an email via SID@ConnectSafely.org. “On February 11, we hope families will talk over dinner about how they’re making the Internet better,” added Collier. “And we’re encouraging parents to listen to and learn from their kids.”

“We are delighted that ConnectSafely will lead the US celebration of Safer Internet Day in February,” said Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOS). “The Day is well established in Europe and elsewhere and it’s time we get behind this effort here in the States.”

Microsoft is the “anchor” supporter with additional support from Google, Facebook, Sprint, Trend Micro and Twitter. The steering committee is made up of the leading non-profits in the Internet safety space, including Committee for Children, Common Sense Media, Family Online Safety Institute, iKeepSafe, Internet Education Foundation, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Cyber Security Alliance.

The announcement is being made today at the Family Online Safety Institute’s annual conference in Washington DC.

About ConnectSafely

ConnectSafely is a non-profit organization offering research-based resources about online well-being and digital literacy for parents, teens, educators, advocates and policymakers. Find us at ConnectSafely.orgTwitter.com/ConnectSafely and Facebook.com/ConnectSafely.

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