BSI calls for increased cyber awareness this Safer Internet Day

11 February 2020

To coincide with this year’s Safer Internet Day on February 11, BSI is encouraging parents, guardians and the wider community to increase cyber resilience and awareness of technology to support the next generation of internet users. 

Safer Internet Day is focused on encouraging internet users to use technology responsibly while at the same time ensuring the most vulnerable users to not fall victim to online risks such as misinformation, cyberbullying and inappropriate content. BSI has outlined the following advice for parents and guardians to help strengthen safety and wellbeing online:

  • Research: when considering technology make sure you carry out the appropriate research and educate yourself on the capabilities of a device and whether online safety controls can be implemented.
  • Introduce technology slowly: it’s important that technology is introduced slowly to children, an example is a first mobile phone, and for it to be used for short durations at a time to ensure they don’t become too reliant on it.
  • Agree rules of engagement: sit down together and agree on the privacy settings for the device, what features, and Apps can be used and for what duration of time it can be used for daily and where it can be used.
  • Enforce time limits: this is a vital step that must be considered to support a child’s wellbeing and ensure that they maintain a balance between online and offline activities.
  • Keep communication channels open: have regular conversations with children about their technology use and their online activity and look out for any threatening feelings they may be experiencing.
  • Be digital smart: make sure devices are set to private and disable location services if they aren’t required. Think twice before posting, don’t post personal details such as a mobile phone number, date of birth or a postal address online and secure device accounts with strong passwords that are changed regularly.
  • Signs of cyberbullying: Identifying a victim of cyberbullying can be difficult, however signs to watch out for include withdrawal or disengagement from social activities. Constant use of a personal device or results faltering at school can also be indications. From a wellbeing perspective, it can be a sudden or unexplained illness for not wanting to go to school, signs of anxiety, stress and worry as well as loss of appetite.
  • Family management and parental controls: research family management and parental control options available to protect a child’s safety online and apply the most appropriate. 

Stephen O’Boyle, Services Delivery Director at BSI, said: “Technology has improved our lives, but it has also brought many risks and cyberbullying is one example that is affecting our younger generation. It’s encouraging to see the [UK] Government propose the General Scheme of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill to protect our children online and we as a community need to be proactive too.  We work with clients across the globe to educate and support them to build resilience against a variety of technology risks and we want to support our communities in the same way to strengthen their cyber awareness at home, at school and outside the workplace.”

“For Safer Internet Day we’d encourage everyone to be more vigilant online and we need to be educating ourselves on the various devices and platforms being used by the next generation.  It’s about increasing awareness and equipping the next generation with the necessary knowledge to protect themselves online and for the wider community, parents, guardians and teachers to support them on their journey.” concluded Stephen.

The BSI consulting services team provides a range of solutions to help organizations address challenges in cybersecurity, information management and privacy, security awareness and compliance. For more information visit