PALO ALTO, CA — ConnectSafely.org, the nonprofit organization dedicated to educating users of connected technology about safety, privacy and security, is hosting the official U.S. Safer Internet Day events in Mountain View, Calif. on Tuesday, February 11th.
Safer Internet Day (#SID2020) is a global event, celebrated on the same day in more than 100 countries around the world. The event gained official recognition in the U.S. in 2012, with a joint agreement between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the European Commission to work together to build a better internet for youth. ConnectSafely was appointed U.S. host in 2013. The 2020 theme is “Together for a better internet.”
There are two events this year. A daytime event aimed at high school and middle school students takes place at the Computer History Museum, brings students together with policy makers and tech industry leaders to discuss internet safety and engage in an interactive educational activity around how to improve the internet during the 2020s. A panel, featuring industry leaders, educators and students, will focus on “Maximizing Impact: How Stakeholders Can Promote a Climate of Civility and Safety.” There will also be a fireside chat with Philippe Kahn, CEO of FullPower and inventor of the camera phone, and the opportunity for students to interact with Kahn and other industry leaders.
The second event — Family Night — takes place that evening at the Mountain View offices of TikTok. Co-presented by National PTA and My Digital TAT2, the event — open to families and children of all ages — will employ tech-savvy teens to educate parents and other adults about the the social media sites their kids use while educating younger children on the same use of age appropriate technology.
In addition to these Silicon Valley events, National PTA is hosting 200 regional events across the the United States. These events will bring families and educators together in their communities to talk about what they can do to make the internet a better and safer place for children.
“Safer Internet Day is an opportunity for people around the world to look for ways to make the online world not just safer, but better,” said ConnectSafely CEO Larry Magid. “ConnectSafely is proud to host the U.S. celebration in cooperation with public officials, tech companies, other nonprofits and, most importantly, students from the Bay Area and across the country who will be joining us in person or via the stream.”
U.S. Safer Internet Day supports include Google, Microsoft, NortonLifeLock, Facebook, Comcast, TikTok, Trend Micro, and NCTA – The Internet & Television Association. In addition, companies and organizations throughout the country are hosting their own local events.
There are lots of ways to celebrate Safer Internet Day in your community or home. See the full list at SID2020.org.
- Host a screening of the film LIKE, which explores the impact of social media on our lives. How to host a screening.
- Brainstorm “rules” for digital civility. Create an online and printed pledge with everyone’s best ideas.
- Contact your local news station to arrange a tour for your group. During the tour, “interview” a journalist or news executive. Some ideas for questions: How do you manage your public online presence? How do you deal with trolls? How has social media hurt or helped your industry?
- Team up with a local coding academy or maker space for an in-person discussion or webinar. Discuss how digital civility, safety, privacy and security can be “baked” into websites and apps.
- Volunteer to coach seniors on how to use their phones and computers.
- Design or sponsor an app that promotes digital safety and civility.
- Jump start family discussion about digital safety and civility. Some conversation starters:
- An ad pops up while you’re doing a search—you click on the ad—it takes you away from your original search. What do you do?
- You’re using an app that you have permission to use, but while using the app you get a message from someone you don’t know. What do you do?
- You post a picture of a friend or classmate and they ask you to take it down. What do you do?
- You have a friend over at your house and that friend ask for the passcode/password to your family iPad/laptop. What do you do?
The full agenda and more information is available at SID2020.org.