This year today’s Safer Internet Day is targeting all stakeholders to unite and make the internet a safe place for all, especially our children. We, parents have the main responsibility for creating safe environments for our children both offline and online. EPA has long fought the approach that only underlines the dangers of the internet, all environments can be dangerous. It is the resonsibility of parents to first be familiar with the environment their children are as it is this knowledge that makes it possible for them to give the necessary guidance. I was invited by one of our partners to elaborate on the challenges parents are facing in finding the right balance of online and offline living. Once parents and other stakeholders are aware of these challenges, we can start overcoming them. Back in 2013 one of our members sent us a letter by a mother saying we are running out of excuses, parents must become familiar with their children’s world.
One tool I want to call your attention to on this occasion. EPA was part of the team developing ParentNets, a handbook and related online game for parent for safer internet use and communicating with your children.
Last but not least, let me highlight EPA’s 2014 Position Paper on Cyberbullying and Social Networks. It is still valid and we still call for action by the EU and member states as well as professional educators and ICT companies to help parents in their job of educating their children, in this context in the field of safer internet use.
Dear Partner, let’s unite, help parents to make the online and offline world equally safe for children by becoming the best possible internet-use educators of their children.