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Safer Internet Day 2012: Schools and (ISC)² Professionals Work Together to Teach Healthy Instincts for a Digital Generation

February 2012 by Marc Jacob

Schools across the United Kingdom marked Safer Internet Day 2012 to tackle uninhibited online attitudes that leave children increasingly vulnerable to cyber bullying, abusive gamers, identity theft and malicious threats. 19 (ISC)² Safe and Secure Online volunteers are out in force today, visiting children and parents in schools across the UK, including South Wales, Kent, Cumbria, Worcester and Teesside. More than 4,000 children will be taking part.

As part of their effort, volunteers survey children and encourage discussion of both risks and behavioural concerns. For example, over 1,500 10-12 year olds in the London area recently revealed that most (65 percent) use the Internet every day, with 50 percent of children reported being online after 10 pm on school nights. The survey confirms widespread flouting of age limits, with 63 percent of the 10 to 12 year olds using the social networking site Facebook, despite the requirement to be at least 13 years of age to join. Further, 33 percent of kids admit to participating in online gaming every day, with 70 percent playing 18 year old-rated games. A significant number are putting themselves in physical danger, as 10 percent admitted they have met an online friend in person, with 28 percent of them going to meet the friend on their own.

The (ISC)² Safe and Secure Online programme is a global initiative designed to teach children from the age of seven how to protect themselves and their online world. The programme was developed with the support of Childnet International, one of three charitable organisations who work in partnership to manage The UK Safer Internet Centre,, and co-ordinate the array of activities across the UK for Safer Internet Day 2012. (ISC)² is supporting Safer Internet Day with interactive sessions for children and parents across the UK, highlighting not just the risks, but the behavioural concerns that are leading to trouble.

Safer Internet Day is celebrated worldwide, and this year it provides an opportunity to encourage users young and old to discover the digital world together safely. The (ISC)² Safe and Secure Online program is available to schools, community and youth groups year-round. It is managed by the charitable arm of (ISC)², The (ISC)² Foundation, created to help the 80,000 professionally certified (ISC)² members make the cyber world a safer place through education and awareness in the community. Volunteer professionals, responsible for information security in banking, retail, telecommunications and other sectors, are equipped to share their first-hand knowledge in face-to-face sessions that make the subject come alive for children and their parents.

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