On Safer Internet Day (11th February) John joined with more than 1,000 schools, charities, and businesses to pledge their support for making the internet a safer place for children and young people.
Safer Internet Day is a globally recognised celebration promoting the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
John welcomed the work being done by the UK Safer Internet Centre and called for everyone to play their part in making sure children and young people are safe online.
John said "It is very important that children know how to keep safe on the internet. Part of that is about observing normal courtesies and being polite. There is a human being at the other end of the internet who needs to be treated with respect. Online safety is a real issue and parents need to be at the forefront of making sure children and young people are kept safe online."
The event, coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre (UK SIC), is celebrated in over a hundred countries.
New research by the UK SIC reveals the internet is a fundamental part of young people’s identity, and that online experiences are an essential part of who they are offline, with 38% saying it’s easier to be themselves online than offline. However despite the positives the internet can bring, there are downsides too. UK SIC found a quarter (25%) of 13-17-year olds say they have been targeted with online hate in the last month because of their gender, sexuality, race, religion, disability or gender identity, with 45% of disabled teens and 32% of BAME teens reporting this.
According to the research 62% of children aged 8 to 17 years old have said they are more careful about what they share online because of people being mean based on who they are.
A spokesperson for the UK Safer Internet Centre said: “It is vital that we reach as many children and their parents and carers as possible.
Safer Internet Day engages over 1,000 organisations to encourage them to have a conversation about their online safety. The UK Safer Internet Centre provides support and advice to children, parents and professionals working with children all year round. It is essential that policy makers are aware of the challenges that children face online and that is why we hosted today’s drop-in session in Parliament.
John urged constituents who are concerned about online safety to visit https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2020
The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading charities – Childnet, Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) - with a shared mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people.