The Safer Internet Day (SID) is a global movement celebrated in over 130 countries each year. Its aim is to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology, especially among children and young people, and to call each stakeholder to play their part in creating a better internet for all. Each year on this day, millions of people unite to inspire positive change, and Europol is proud to join the cause. In 2018, we are supporting its theme: "Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you" by sharing our tips and advice on online safety, a reminder for all, but especially for the youngest among us, on responsible and careful online behaviour.
In order to achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all the EU citizens, Europol is strongly committed fighting against cybercrime: the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), established in 2013, works to prevent and detect all forms of cybercrime in the EU and drives intelligence-led, coordinated actions against key cybercrime threats through cross-border investigations and operations by Europol’s partners.
As a form of cybercrime, child sexual exploitation is one of Europol's priority crime areas under the 2018-2021 EU Policy Cycle. In this context, EC3 provides assistance and expertise in combatting the distribution of child abuse material through online environments, and tackles the criminal online behaviour against children, such as grooming, self-generated indecent material, sexual extortion and live distant child abuse.
At the same time, several prevention and awareness-raising campaigns, guides, and materials have been set up over the last years to empower EU citizens to protect themselves online. The Say No! and Deterring youngsters from cybercrime campaigns are especially relevant, as they target young people, parents and carers, teachers and educators.
Europol Executive Director Rob Wainwright stated: "Education, both at home and at school, has traditionally placed emphasis on teaching youngsters about respect, both for those around them and for themselves. Our societies have developed based on this very principle and so have we as citizens. If this has worked in the offline world, then why not pursue the same goal online? I encourage everyone to spend a moment thinking about their online behaviour and how, simply by being respectful to others online, they can help make the internet a better and safer place for all."
Everyone has a responsibility to make a positive difference online. Follow our advice to stay safe in the digital age: