The internet can be a wonderful place to learn, grow and explore but it can also be a dangerous place, especially for young people and children who can be easily swayed by people keen on spreading hate and negative behaviour like child pornography, cyber bullying and the like. This is why Safer Internet Day, a day created by the European Commission, is purposely to make “a better [internet] for everyone, in particular, the youngest users out there.”
This year’s theme, “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you”, is a call to action for every stakeholder to play their part in creating a better internet for everyone and, in particular, the youngest users out there.
More than that, it is an invitation for everyone to join in and engage with others in a respectful way in order to ensure a better digital experience.
In Kenya, Safaricom hosted the annual Safer Internet Day (SID) to advocate for the responsible use of the internet at an event held at the Michael Joseph Centre.
Safaricom is a major player in the internet landscape providing high speed 4G and 3G connectivity to Kenyans.
“Access to reliable and convenient internet has become a basic need for many Kenyans, therefore data has become an important revenue stream for us. But we are also aware of emerging online issues that affect our young ones such as online bullying and that is why Safer Internet Day is important to us,” said Steve Chege, Director Corporate Affairs- Safaricom.
Since its inception, Safaricom has enabled a wider digital space experience and provided numerous channels to access to the internet. Through many initiatives and engagements, Safaricom has also been on the forefront in advocating for the responsible use of the internet in the country and beyond.
“This event is to trigger every stakeholder to act their role by creating an environment where internet users, especially the younger demographic have a better and wholesome experience. This way all of us will view the internet as an important resource for the betterment of our lives”, said Chege.
This year’s theme will help shape the conversation about safe internet use among the young and provide solutions to the serious emerging trends that have in the recent years compounded the internet landscape like cyberbullying access, harmful sites and illegal content.
It will also encourage the responsible use of social media platforms to create better online communities.
“We believe this event will provide a platform for all the stakeholders involved to discuss the way forward towards achieving a better digital experience for all internet users. This will be a major step towards ensuring that we curb the negative trends that have cropped up in the recent past”, said Chege.