Safer Internet Day 2023 - these tips will keep you safer online 

Safer Internet Day (SID) is a global day of action for more online safety and a better Internet for children and young people. It has been held in February since 2004 and focuses on a new theme each year as part of the international motto "Together for a better internet". In Germany, SID is coordinated by the EU initiative klicksafe. This year's motto is #OnlineAmLimit. To mark the occasion, the //next team is presenting 20 useful surfing tips to further raise awareness among children, young people and their parents.

1) How do children and young people currently use the internet? In terms of content? With which devices? The Medienpädagogische Forschungsverbund Südwest (mpfs) has been investigating this regularly since 1998 with its JIM study (Youth, Information, Media), most recently last year:

2) The ERGO Risk Report 2022 takes a similarly fundamental look at the attitudes of German citizens - although not only those under age - to various aspects of digitalisation: usage behaviour, risk avoidance and much more:

3) However, children in particular need good and safe websites to find their way around the internet, to learn, to have fun and to communicate. Here are tips for parents and educators to get involved:

4) "You can never start early enough with data protection and freedom of information," says ERGO Press Officer Sabine Saeidy-Nory. And has posted on LinkedIn: "The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) and Carlsen Verlag GmbH also thought so and therefore published two new Pixi books. The BfDI is offering both books free of charge for children of kindergarten age up to seventh grade, while stocks last. The books are not available for purchase. So, quickly order two copies and browse through them together!"

5) And another tip from our colleague Sabine: In the video series "Cyber Security" from the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), there are tips on how to secure apps and online services for children and teens - and what the topic of youth protection looks like. In the show notes to the videos, there are numerous links to further information on the topics:

6) "Children fair and safe on the internet" is the mission of SMK Schutzraum Medienkompetenz, founded in 2013 by Hanno Lenz from the Innovation and Digital Transformation department at ERGO. On //next you can find a detailed interview with Hanno on the goals and approach of the initiative, from which the above quote also comes:

7) Only recently, Hanno spoke in a podcast with the brains behind  Hand, Fuß, Mund (Hand, Foot, Mouth) on the topic of "Internet, Mobile & Co: So important is media literacy for children", which you can find here:

8) And have a current date tip for you: On Friday, 10 February, at 12 noon, SMK Schutzraum Medienkompetenz is planning an Insta-Live together with Initiative Digital Bilden. Please register here!

9) By the way, Digital Bilden also offers a free "Starter Guide - 7 tips for "more conscious screen use", which is not only aimed at children and young people:

10) What should teachers pay attention to when teaching online? And what measures can be taken to prevent cyberbullying at school? Webinars and training courses, as well as media education recommendations and tips for parents, can be found here:

11) Many useful tips for more digital mindfulness among children, young people and parents can also be found on the ERGO blog. What does this mean in everyday life? What are the dangers of cyberbullying and other downsides of digitalisation? And what rules are recommended for dealing with smartphones and the like? You can find all the answers here:

12) In keeping with this, the authors of the ERGO blog have also taken a look at the individual cyber dangers and methods of attack that you should be aware of when surfing: Hacking, phishing, skimming - what are the differences?

13) It's been a while, but the YouTube videos created as part of the ERGO youth promotion competition #Internetkannich are still topical in terms of content. In snappy clips, young people answer questions such as "Are you aware of the risks?", "GPS tracking is practical, isn't it?" and "What social media do you use? The playlist with nine contributions is available here:

Generative AI, specifically the texts of the artificial intelligence ChatGPT, leave users amazed, while for Microsoft, among others, is investing billions. The new chatbot from OpenAI shows what Generartive AI can do - and what it can't. But how can fraud be avoided with this new technology? And what does all this mean for our media literacy?

14) On, there is an illuminating fundamental article on the topic and the technological functioning of Generative AI:

What does Generative AI already do today, but what is it not yet doing - and how is the journey likely to continue? Two ERGO colleagues have already thought about this on LinkedIn:

15) Sebastian Groth: "Natural Language Understanding - Towards a Talking Super AI?":

16) Nicolas Konnerth: „Who let the Bots Out?”

17) //next columnist Markus Sekulla also got to grips with the new chatbot and tried writing parts of his column with it. Here you can read his self-experiment with a wink:

18) In view of the new AI chatbots, do we need enhanced media literacy? Tech expert Michael Förtsch says "yes!":

19) Because: Generative AI can be misused and becomes a danger in education, for example. The race between AI and (AI) tools to prove its use has begun.

20) Even the ChatGPT makers OpenAI now ofer another AI application aiming at reducing that very danger mentioned above, and more developers are likely to follow:

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