The importance of the internet to contemporary life cannot be overstated. The internet has become the great enabler of the 21st Century. Its transformative impact is akin to the introduction of telecommunications in the 19th Century or the printing press in the 15th Century. The internet has heralded an era of truly global interconnectedness. The consequent benefits of this interconnectedness include; access to knowledge and education, higher living standards, business transformation, economic modernisation and opportunity, and greater consumer choice and satisfaction, just to name a few.
For all the remarkable advances that the internet has caused, it has equally introduced risks and dangers. Privacy concerns, cyberbullying, hacking, phishing scams, disinformation, exposure to harmful content and predatory behaviours are but a few of the risks associated with the use of the internet. These dangers are unfortunately most prevalent in society’s most vulnerable, such as children and the elderly. As the internet becomes more ubiquitous, so do these risks. Consequently, global movements have emerged to raise awareness about the dangers of the internet, including “Safer Internet Day”.
“Safer Internet Day” is a day when global stakeholders engage in a coordinated advocacy campaign around creating a safer internet for all. This year Safer Internet Day is on Tuesday, 11 February. The “Safer Internet Day” movement began in 2004 as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project and was taken up by InSafe, a European network of awareness centres promoting safer and better usage of the internet. Today the movement is recognised and celebrated in over 100 countries around the world. This has been achieved through INHOPE (International Association of Internet Hotlines), a global network of hotline centres that work to combat illegal internet activity, especially the abuse of children. South Africa’s domestic affiliate of the network is the Film and Publication Board. For information on their work click here.
To learn more about Safer Internet Day have a look at this infographic.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].