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Help create a better Internet on Safer Internet Day, February 10

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The Internet is a part of our everyday lives. Whether we are sharing photos with family far away, researching a new project, or paying bills online, the web empowers us to do the things we need and want to do.

To have an active and positive digital lifestyle, we all must play a role in helping to keep the Internet a better and safer place. -- Microsoft Safety & Security Center

Safer Internet Day (SID) is arriving in the United States this year as part of an international effort to protect Internet citizens, especially children and young adults, from the potential of online harm.

Safer Internet Day, now in its 11th year, is organised by Insafe, an international program based in Europe, and is celebrated in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.

The Insafe program, which establishes online safety awareness centers in 30 member countries throughout the EU, offers safety tips, a helpline and hotline to report illegal content on the Internet.

Check out ConnectSafely.org for resources and safety tips in the United States. The OneGoodThing program is also inviting participants to share a 15-30 second video or 50 word written story about one thing you've seen or done that makes the Internet a better place, or makes the world a better place using the Internet.

Facebook is sponsoring a live panel discussion of Internet safety in Menlo Park, Calif. on Feb 10, 2015 from 1-7pm PST (11am-5pm CST). You can watch the streaming video online here. There is also an online lesson plan that can be adapted for ages 7-12.

The first Safer Internet Day took place on 6 February 2004, and was the brainchild of the EU-funded SafeBorders project. Since then SID has continued to grow each year. In 2006, the worldwide "Safer Internet blogathon" included 103 blog postings from 34 countries in 24 hours. In 2007, mobile operators met in Brussels and signed an agreement to safeguard children using mobile phones.

The Insafe program is tasked with "fighting against illegal content, tackling harmful content, promoting a safer environment, and raising awareness." One of the most recent milestones of this program was the distinction between online risk and harm from research done of European children in 2011.

Along with sponsoring the SID talk in California, as of Jan. 13, Facebook is also now broadcasting Amber Alerts on its social networking platform in areas targeted by the missing child search.

Safer Internet Day 2015 will be celebrated around the world on Feb. 10, 2015 with the slogan “Let’s create a better internet together”. 

Safer Internet Day U.S. is made possible by nonprofit partners and financial support from leading companies, including Ask.fm, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, LifeLock, LinkedIn, Symantec, Trend Micro and Twitter. Nonprofit partners include Committee for Children, FOSI, Common Sense Media, iKeepSafe, Internet Education Foundation, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and StaySafeOnline.org.