Quick Lessons and Favorite Quotes from Safer Internet Day 2019

Quick Lessons and Favorite Quotes from Safer Internet Day 2019

Tuesday, Feb. 5 was Safer Internet Day. It happened to be a cold and snowy day, and I also happened to be free, so what better way to spend the afternoon than to tune into the live stream of the official U.S. Safer Internet Day celebration at Google’s Seattle offices.

People having to do with every nook and cranny of the web participated like reps from ConnectSafely, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and more. They had law enforcement speaking on their role in online safety, talked about online activism in “Positive Change and Dealing with Negative Reactions” and discussed virtual reality in depth.

Despite rare Seattle snow, families came and cameras rolled at U.S Safer Internet Day … and below are a few things I took away from the day that I thought I’d pass along:

Lessons and quotes from Safer Internet Day 2019

On how to report an Internet crime.

This was one thing I jotted down right away because it’s a wonderful resource. Any citizen can report child exploitation via the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (800-The-Lost CyberTipLine.com). Experts advise that people start here because they can help link you to where you need to go. Another excellent resource is the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Not only that, every state has at least one Internet Crimes Task Force, and they're all interconnected. 

On kids and the Internet.

The following quote was a welcome reminder for me. It’s easy to get a bit down about the constantly-connected, digital world we live in but it’s also important to remember:

"Millions of kids are using the internet in a thoughtful way." 

On teaching kids how to be safe online.

Throughout Safer Internet Day, it was emphasized that teaching kids to be safe and smart online must be a conversation. And an ongoing one. Why? Because while we, as parents and caregivers, may not be experts in the technology that our kids are using (yes, folks, our kids may be the ones who know the most in this area), we, the adults, are the ones who have had decades of “life” experiences that can be translated online. Both kids and parents have valuable contributions to make. Also loved how one speaker advised parents and caregivers the following when it comes to guiding kids to be good digital citizens:

"Come into it in more of a personal responsibility method. Instead of, 'you're going to be stolen by the boogie man' ... it's not an effective message at all. They look around and go, 'well, I'm not going to be that stupid kid.'" 

On parents and caregivers posting images of young children in the bathtub or running around naked.

It was good to hear this issue raised, get one speaker’s theory as to why so many parents and caregivers must do it — and perhaps most importantly, have a solution proposed to help us all be safer and more thoughtful parents:

"What happens is we as people do what everybody else does. So as we're posting information because our friends are posting the same kind of information, we get caught in the ‘following along’ behavior. Talk to your friends and talk about what is appropriate and what is NOT appropriate." 

On Internet trolls.

First, let’s define what an Internet troll is: it’s a person who intentionally antagonizes others online by posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content. Lifewire shares the 10 Types of Internet Trolls You'll Meet Online if you want to check it out, but I’m here to pass along the wisdom that was shared with me during Safer Internet Day:

"You either don't engage at all, or you remind people of your shared humanity."

On being safe while surfing the web

Little known fact — or maybe you already know it, and that’s fine too because it’s worth repeating — take a look at your web page’s URL. In https, the "S" means "secure." This is important to keep and mind. We should always look for that! I won’t go into all the details but if you want to learn more, How-To Geek has more in, What Is HTTPS, and Why Should I Care?

On virtual reality.

Wowza. Do I have a lot to learn about virtual reality. I’ll just leave it right there.

You can still check out the Live Stream!

It was an awesome day of learning, and I’m so glad I was able to tune in. Hope you learned a little something here and if you still want to check out the Live Stream Replay, click here. I guarantee you’ll learn something new.