Safer Internet Day 2022 in Malta: how to be safe online 

Safer Internet Day is observed every year on the second day (Tuesday) of the second week of February with the aim of working towards a safer and better internet, where every user gets to use the internet responsibly and without getting their data leaked. The day is being celebrated in over 150 countries across the world. 

2022-12-27
A group of young people pointing at a laptop screen

2022 marked the nineteenth edition of Safer Internet Day (SID) with actions taking place right across the globe. From cyberbullying to social networking to digital identity, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns. 

The internet is very popular with everyone, and in particular with the younger generation. It offers an array of opportunities: from doing online research, to following news and for entertainment purposes. Throughout the pandemic, it was an essential tool for communication, and on several occasions, it was the only way that children could keep in touch with their peers and families. 

The theme “Together for a better internet” is the same as the ones used in previous years and invites different stakeholders to join forces to provide a better internet for children and young people.

In comments to Newsbook.com.mt, the police’s cybercrime unit said its officers “continuously conduct talks on how to safely use the internet, especially in schools and addressed to primary, secondary and post-secondary students. Talks are also addressed to other educational institutions, and even to parents and teachers.”   

The Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) within the Ministry of Social Solidarity coordinates the Maltese Safer Internet Centre BeSmartOnline! together with the Office of the Commissioner for Children, the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes within the Ministry for Education and the cybercrime unit within the Malta police force. The project is committed to creating a better internet for children and, through its different awareness raising initiatives, aims to safeguard children online.  

The Maltese Safer Internet Centre organised different activities to commemorate this day, including the distribution of a book, Kiko and the Manymes, published by the Council of Europe, aimed at primary students in year 3 by the Office of the Commissioner for Children. 

Different awareness sessions took place in different schools to commemorate the day, where children participated in activities related to online safety. A copy of the book The angry wolf, a resource by the BeSmartOnline! consortium, was distributed to all year 2 students, and a poster with online safety tips was distributed to all primary schools in Malta. 

Moreover, schools were encouraged to organise activities related to Safer Internet Day by accessing the SID toolkit, and the day was also reported on on different local television programmes by different members of the consortium. 

Children and young people are spending a lot of their free time online and they can be exposed to different online risks, and it is important to make children aware of the online risks and provide them with the tools they can use if something goes wrong online. Moreover, it is important to teach them that the internet can also offer plenty of positive experiences. 

What are the some of the most common online risks? 

Here are some of the main online risks and dangers to look out for: 

  • Privacy – your personal information could be seen by anyone, anywhere. It could be viewed by friends, family and strangers. 
  • Permanency – once something is posted it can stay online for a long time, even when comments or photos are deleted. 
  • Identity fraud – people can gather enough information about a person to steal their identity. They can use this to do illegal things like steal your money or commit crimes under your name. 
  • Trolling – this is when someone misuses social websites to cause conflict or harm to an individual or group. 
  • Catfishing – a person can pretend to be someone they’re not by stealing a profile or creating a fake one. They can use this profile to trick people over a long period of time. 
  • Grooming – there are people who try to talk with children and young people online in an attempt to have sexual contact. This is against the law. 

This article was originally published at https://newsbook.com.mt/en/safer-internet-day-2022-how-to-be-safe-online/ and has been adapted and republished here with the permission of the Maltese Safer Internet Centre.    

Find out more about the work of the Maltese Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.  

Related news