SAFER INTERNET DAY: Child Focus, Proximus and Microsoft rally together for the online safety of children

Child Focus, Proximus and Microsoft never miss Safer Internet Day. On Tuesday 7 February, around 160 Proximus and Microsoft volunteering employees, trained by Child Focus, will visit more than 340 primary school classes in Belgium to increase pupils' awareness of the Internet's advantages and its risks. It is by highlighting the advantages of using the Internet responsibly that we will be able to make youngsters aware of the traps. "We must empower children and invite youngsters to think about the consequences of their behavior on the Internet so they learn to protect their privacy on the social networks and make the most of the opportunities of their online experience ", says Heidi DE PAUW, CEO of Child Focus.

Prevention therefore remains imperative. Young Belgians, like their peers from other European countries, are passionately devoted to the Internet but don't always exercise the necessary caution when using it. The European Commission explains that one in three Internet users is a child and that children spend more and more time on the social networks, online gaming and mobile applications. "Browsing the Internet offers thousands of interesting opportunities, but also exposes young people to dangers such as cyberbullying, hate speeches and manipulative advertising". The aim of this day, therefore, is to promote safe, more enriching and creative digital use among children.

Under the slogan "Together, let's act for a better Internet!” Safer Internet Day is a global event held by the European Commission in February each year to make the Internet a better space for young people. Celebrated in more than 100 countries, Safer Internet Day has quickly spread beyond Europe's borders, over the years becoming a key event in the field of education about the digital world and e-security.

A unique and effective intersectoral partnership in action for six years!

Since 2011, twice a year, volunteering employees from Microsoft and Proximus coached by Child Focus visit close to 600 classrooms in Belgium to raise awareness among thousands of fifth- and sixth-year pupils in primary school. Inspired by these interactive lessons, the children are made to think about their own online behavior through the questions they are asked.

In the context of this three-party prevention project, it is therefore logical that "Safer Internet Day" is the opportunity for teaching children good online habits from the earliest age.

Teachers should not be overlooked either...

Even though the primary objective is to raise children's awareness, it is also necessary to help teachers who may feel powerless in the face of Internet education by orienting them towards appropriate teaching tools so that they themselves can easily tackle the issue of Internet safety in their classrooms. The volunteers inform them on this subject – passwords, online identity and communication, trustworthy sites and cyberbullying – and leave the teacher a brochure published by Child Focus, which sets out all the tools available with which certain aspects can be dealt with in more depth.

As the Belgian Center for Safe Internet and a member of the European network INSAFE (the European network grouping together the national Safe Internet centers of the 27 member states), Child Focus coordinates "Safer Internet Day" in Belgium and this year encourages all national media education actors to set up one or more "e-prevention" initiatives during the course of February.

For more information, surf to, the Child Focus prevention portal for Internet safety.

Practical information

Would you like to visit a participating school?
You can find the schools where employees will give lessons here.

Please contact the press relations departments to have more info on schedules and contact persons:

Microsoft Press Contact
Quadrant Communications
Proximus Press Contact
    +32 2 2 202 44 44
  • Jan Margot
    +32 475 58 50 37
  • Haroun Fenaux
    +32 476 60 03 33
Child Focus Press Contact

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