Supporting Safer Internet Day 2024 - Tuesday 6th February

Today is the annual Safer Internet Day and Durham County FA is right behind the goal to raise awareness of a safer and better internet for all, especially children and young people.

This year’s theme is ‘Together for a better internet’ and alongside The FA, we’re promoting three key messages within football:

1. Children/young people: Be kind, respectful and protect your online presence/activity.

2. Parents/carers: Support your child(ren) to use technology responsibly and respectfully, whether via open dialogue, educating or explaining your own use of the internet as a role model.

3. Everyone: Be kind and respectful to others, respond to the negative by reporting inappropriate or illegal content and behaviour online.

We are asking parents/carers to:

· Encourage conversations about online safety with your child(ren).

· Review/discuss your child(ren)’s privacy settings.

· Check that your child(ren) know how to report concerns they may have.

· Ensure you know your club’s social media protocol(s). · Check out the SID parents/carers’ resources – they cover a wide range of topics and are age-related so ideal to support conversations with your child(ren) e.g., setting up parental controls, AI, awareness of grooming, safety on TikTok/Instagram, parent/carer top tips and more.

Clubs/leagues are encouraged to support SID 2024 by:

· Communicating your support for SID 2024 on your website/social media channels.

· Re-sharing your social media protocol(s) with all parents/carers.

· Ensuring your reporting process for online concerns is clear and visible. · Pledging your support for SID 2024 on the SID website here.

As part of joint ongoing commitment to safeguarding across every environment within football, The FA has produced a range of guidance notes related to online safety. They’re listed below and are available here as part of our complete suite of safeguarding guidance notes:

· 6.1: Running website or social media platforms (for clubs and leagues).

· 6.2: Digital communications and children (for all).

· 6.3: Staying safe in the digital world (for teenagers).

· 7.4: Fake news – what to trust online (for all).

· 8.5: Tips to ensure your child’s online safety (for parents/carers).

· 8.6: Grooming – the signs and steps to take if you’re worried about a child (for parents/carers). Please also visit the Safeguarding in the digital world section on The FA’s website to find links to expert organisations (e.g. the NSPCC) to read about a range of online issues more widely. Advice targeted at parents/carers or teachers and professionals supporting children and young people online is also really useful for coaches/managers, officials and first-aiders – please take some time to find out more.