From chatting with friends and family, checking social media like Facebook, or playing games on Xbox Live, so much of what we do is connected to the internet. With everything so tied together, how can we ensure our safety online?
In an effort to promote safer and more responsible use of this connected technology, Microsoft is taking part in Safer Internet Day activities across the globe. Safer Internet Day is an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project that’s been around since 2004.
There are many different ways to ensure you are up to date with your internet habits. Staying on top of software updates, creating strong passwords, and avoiding giving out your personal information in response to social media or email request are just a few safe practices.
At Microsoft we’re all in with this year’s theme of “Play your part for a better internet” by hosting events across Europe to help youth understand the dangers present on the internet and how they can protect themselves. Regardless of your age, Safer Internet Day is a great time to check and make sure you’re practicing safe internet habits!
Here’s a roundup of some of the events Microsoft is hosting around Europe! And be sure to follow @MSEurope as we tweet about these events across the region.
With the help of an NGO called Digital Knowledge Academy (Digitális Tudás Akadémia), a group of Singaporean and Hungarian children connected via Skype on February 4th. They spent an hour in a lesson discussing the key topics of safer internet usage. By the end of the class they collected the “5-points of safer internet usage.” On the 9th of February, these children will present their 5-point recommendations in a special panel discussion.
Microsoft in Greece is partnering with The Smile of a Child, an NGO that helps protect abused children. Microsoft Greece is also helping support a Cyber Crime event being held on February 9th with 2,000 students attending.
Microsoft Croatia has decided to support NGO Centar za nestalu i zlostavljanu djecu in their activities regarding Safer Internet Day, through a awareness campaign before the day and also through a lecture about responsible usage of Internet on February 9th when Safer Internet Day will be held in schools all over Croatia. These lectures will focus on the importance of appropriate behavior on the Internet, and will also be transmitted via Skype to schools across Croatia.
Microsoft in Ukraine will be holding an event to discuss using the Windows 10 parental control feature to find the right balance between control and child’s privacy.
In the Czech Republic, Microsoft will co-host a roundtable discussion under the auspices of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The topics of the conference will be focused on children and elderly people.
Along with Proximus, Microsoft in Belgium is partnering with Child Focus to teach 100,000 kids how to use the internet more safely. On February 16th, 177 volunteers from Microsoft and Proximus will give online safety presentations in over 100 schools.
In Italy, Microsoft is partnering with Fondazione Mondo Digitale and selected 20 schools to produce customized recommendations for surfing the web. Some of the topics their recommendations will cover are phishing, scams, browsing in a safe manner, and privacy related issues. After the recommendations are made, the Postal Police will choose the best and most useful ones.
On the 16th of February, Microsoft Austria General Manager Dorothee Ritz and an official representative of the Vienna School Authority, together with 50 Microsoft employees will visit schools to be “teachers for a day”. During this time, they will talk about a valuable and secure contact with information and communication technologies.
“Creating tools for a better internet” is a workshop that will be held at Microsoft Berlin. This event will be hosted by teachers of our “Code your life” initiative. The students will learn why their online reputation is important for their future, how to safely use digital media, and they’ll use Minecraft to present rules for a safe internet.
In the UK, our Scotland HQ will be hosting an afternoon of discussion and insight by some of Scotland’s most influential and forthright safety representatives including Aileen Campbell, Scottish Minister for Children and Young People, the Safer Internet Centre, and CEOP. In addition, for two weeks we will be hosting a Bing search engine “takeover” which will draw attention to specific safety advice. A pop up “special answers box” will appear in response to searches about ‘cyberbullying’, ‘online safety’, or related queries, and will help direct people to relevant resources and advice available from Safer Internet Day partners.
On February 2nd, in partnership with GNR, Microsoft volunteers explained how to use the internet safely to students, teachers, and the elderly. The event was able to reach students all across the country.