Also returns in 2022 the Safer Internet Day (SID)the annual event organized by INSAFE in February at an international level with the support of the European Commission aimed at promoting safer and more responsible use of the web and new technologies, especially among young people. In 2022, Safer Internet Day is celebrated on the day February 8 and the slogan for the chosen campaign is “Together for a better internet“(Together for a better internet) – the same as in the last three years – with the aim of making everyone reflect not only on the conscious use of the Internet, but on the active and responsible role of each in the creation of the internet as a positive and safe place Over the years, the Safer Internet Day (SID) has become a reference event for all operators in the sector, institutions and civil society organizations, now involving over 100 countries.
On Tuesday 8 February, Safer Internet Day 2022 in Italy is accompanied by a program of initiatives organized by the Ministry of Education, coordinator of the “Generazioni Connesse” project, the Safer Internet Center, the Italian Center for Network Security. The national event is held at the Ministry, at 10.00, with the participation of Minister Patrizio Bianchi and visible live on the YouTube channel of the MI (visible in the player below). Here, institutions, policy makers and experts in connection meet with young people from lower and upper secondary schools to explore the issues of the Better Internet for Kids Policies, that is, opportunities and criticalities connected to the world of digital technologies. Among those present, also the young “activists” of the Youth Panel, made up of schoolchildren enrolled in Generazioni Connesse as representatives of virtuous Italian actions relating to the use of new technologies. Following, two training webinars, created by the experts of the Safer Internet Center, dedicated to teachers and students to talk about digital storytelling and web reputation, new educational proposals for digital citizenship, opportunities and risks of the Internet. Italy, activities promoted with the main partners of “Generazioni Connesse” are planned: the Guarantor Authority for Childhood and Adolescence, the State Police, Telefono Azzurro and Save the Children. On the web, the story of the day is accompanied by the hashtags # SID2022 and #SICItalia.
The starting point of the reflections planned during the day of SID 2022 are the data of the annual research on the quantity and quality of the hours spent on the Net by girls and boys in Italy conducted by Generazioni Connesse, in collaboration with Skuola.net, University of Studies of Florence and Sapienza University of Rome – CIRMPA, which on the occasion of Safer Internet Day 2022 was conducted on a sample of 2,472 students of first and second grade secondary schools.
According to what emerged from this research, the time spent online by young people has decreased. If between 2019 and 2020 there was a more than doubling of the percentage of students connected from 5 to 10 hours a day – going from 23% to 59% – in the last year the figure has slowly started to return to pre-existing levels. pandemic up to the most recent survey according to which 42% of children have been connected to the web for such a long average time. The decline in hours spent on the Internet also falls for those who claim to be “always connected”which fell from 18% in 2021 to 12% in the first survey in 2022. The remaining 46% of adolescents involved in the research, on the other hand, estimate that they spend less than 4 hours a day online, compared to 23% overall 12 months ago.
Meanwhile it is increased awareness of children and, in particular, of those who exploit the knowledge acquired on the mechanisms of the Net to help peers in difficulty: in the last year, 95% of the students involved in the research declare that they have supported girls and boys of their own age with advice and suggestions to improve their experience in the digital world. The most popular tips and tricks were: avoid sharing sensitive data online, pay attention to people known on the Net, do not disseminate private photos and videos on the web, do not share sensitive information about other people without their consent, check the reliability of who sends us links before opening them. An important contribution, because phenomena such as sexing or cyberbullying are far from defeated: in the last 2-3 months, 24% of respondents say they have exchanged their intimate images, while 7% claim to have been the victim of acts of cyberbullying, in addition to 2% of cyberbullies and 21% of spectators of such acts.
In the last year, more than half of the young people (55%) interviewed said they had received useful information and indications to defend themselves from the dangers of the Internet (twelve months ago this figure stood at 29%). Teachers in schools contribute to the greater diffusion of digital culture: students who have received teaching on online safety from their teachers have gone from 12% a year ago to 31% today. However, 68% of girls and boys have never heard of the new regulation for the processing of personal data, the GDPR, which entered into force in 2018 and is concerned about the possibility that the websites visited may share their personal information with others. Similar percentages are also reported with respect to the tracking of what girls and boys do online (a little worried 52%; very worried 39%) and possible unauthorized uses of the data provided (a little worried 65%; very worried 23%).
Over the years, Safer Internet Day (SID) has become an eagerly awaited event for all operators in the sector, institutions, civil society organizations. For information on events organized around the world, you can consult the European Commission’s website dedicated to the day (www.saferinternetday.org) or the Italian website www.generazioniconnesse.it