Safer Internet Day (9th February) is an EU wide initiative to promote a safer internet for all users, especially young people. It is promoted in Ireland by the PDST Technology in Education and Webwise, the Irish Internet Safety Awareness Centre.

The theme for this year's Safer Internet Day is #BeKindOnline. For most people, being online is a positive and useful experience. But with technology being such a prominent part of everyday life, it has never been more important to recognise the impact that our behaviour can have on others, and how the interactions we have with others online can influence our own self-esteem and wellbeing.

This year for Safer Internet Day 2021, #BeKindOnline highlights the importance of respectful online communication, to foster a sense of care and empathy for others, and to encourage people to manage their online wellbeing.

Parents have an important role to play in helping to ensure that their teen has a positive experience online, and Safer Internet Day can be a great time to engage with your teen in the conversation.

Here are some great free resources from Webwise to help you start the conversation with your teen on managing their online wellbeing and building digital resilience.

1. Managing my online wellbeing 

We need your consent to load this Vimeo contentWe use Vimeo to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Help your child make the most of their time online by watching The Full Picture video together. This short film explores how young people use social media to connect and share.

This video is a great way to start a conversation on the influences and pressures they may face online and encourage them to see the full picture and be mindful of what influences them and how they respond to pressures online.

More advice and tips on how to talk to your child about managing their online wellbeing is available here.

2. Practising Safe Online Communication 

We need your consent to load this Vimeo contentWe use Vimeo to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

One of the biggest concerts parents have when it comes to their child's safety online is around unwanted contact. Talk to your child about the importance of practising safe online communication using the Be in Ctrl short film.

More information on how to help your child identify suspicious communication online and know where they can get help and report suspicious communication is available here.

3. #BeKindOnline

Promote respectful online communication using the Connected short film. This powerful short film explores how young people communicate and connect online. Connected encourages young people to reflect on why their actions matter and the impact it can have on others.

More advice and tips on how to talk to your teen about respectful online communication is available here.

4. Sexting - What Parents Need to Know?

We need your consent to load this Vimeo contentWe use Vimeo to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

For many parents of teens, sexting can be a big concern. Talking to your child can be the best way to ease concerns. Watch this expert advice video featuring Elaine Byrnes, Doctoral Researcher-Psychology, NUI Galway explain why teens may get involved in sexting and offer advice on how parents can talk to their teens about image-sharing.

More advice and useful talking points on how to start the conversation with your teen about sexting is available here.

5. Image Sharing and Consent

We need your consent to load this Vimeo contentWe use Vimeo to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Explore the topic of image-sharing and consent with your teen using the Forever video. Forever addresses the topic of sexting and highlights the potential consequences of sharing images without consent.

Advice and talking points for how to begin a conversation with your child about image sharing is available here.

6. Respect and Consent Online

Watch this expert advice video featuring Elaine Byrnes, Doctoral Researcher-Psychology, NUI Galway offers advice to parents on talking to your teen about the importance of respect and consent when communicating online.

More advice and support on what to do if an image/video of your child is shared online is available here.

7. #BeKindOnline Webinar Series

As part of Safer Internet Day 2021, the Irish Safer Internet Centre will host a series of free online safety webinars for parents and educators on the topic of Empowering Healthy Online Behaviour in Children and Teenagers.

The webinars are free to attend and will give parents an opportunity to ask questions. Guest speakers include Mark Smyth, Clinical Psychologist and Dr. Nicola Fox-Hamilton, Cyberpsychology researcher and lecturer.

Register for the free online safety webinars for parents here.

For more information visit the Webwise Parent's Hub here.