Posted on 7 February by Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker
Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally each year on 7 February to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology among children and young people. Safer Internet Day New Zealand is coordinated by online safety organisation Netsafe. Below, Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker writes about the importance of online safety and Safer Internet Day.
We no longer 'go' online, we 'are' online.
Eight out of ten people in New Zealand now own a smartphone or tablet, and 88% use social media every month. As a nation we love being online - and why wouldn't we? The internet is a fantastic tool that has changed the way we interact with the world, share ideas, buy and sell, learn new things and meet new people.
We're more connected than ever. This brings us incredible opportunities - and some challenges.
It's important that adults, schools, industry and community groups lead the way in showing our young people how to stay safe online. Safer Internet Day is an opportunity to start conversations with our young people and to learn about what we can do to help ourselves and others have a better online experience.
Young people in particular adapt to new technologies quickly and easily. They use technology to explore new opportunities for social interactions, learn about their world and express themselves. They're also navigating challenges that most adults have never had to deal with. Although young people are often more technically savvy, they're not always emotionally or mentally mature enough to deal with situations that can arise from technology.
The theme for Safer Internet Day 2017 is 'Be the change: Unite together for a better internet'.
To help work towards a better internet, we've teamed up with some of New Zealand's favourite websites, apps and technology makers to create an easy to follow online safety guide which can be found at netsafe.org.nz/staying-safe-online. Google, YouTube, Twitter and Trade Me have all contributed to create a guide full of advice that anybody can follow. It's a great example of industry uniting together for a better internet.
We hope that people read through the guide, use the tools available and share the knowledge with friends, family and whānau. Being equipped with the knowledge to make the right decisions and enjoy a positive online experience is an important first step in creating a better internet for everybody.
If you'd like to get involved in Safer Internet Day activities visit netsafe.org.nz/safer-internet-day or follow Netsafe on Facebook.
Martin is the Chief Executive Officer of Netsafe. He can often be seen or heard in the media explaining online challenges for New Zealand internet users. His knowledge about online safety is sought out by many in NZ and overseas. In his downtime, Martin enjoys spending time with his two boys, working on his many DIY projects and playing online games.
Netsafe is a not for profit organisation that focuses on online safety. They offer support, advice and education to everyone in New Zealand to help minimise online risks. Whether you're dealing with online bullying, an online request that looks suspicious, or you just want advice for family members using the internet they can help.
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