Safer Internet Day 2013 – the challenges of today’s digital world

Safer Internet Day is organised each year to promote a safer and more responsible use of online technology. Microsoft supports safer internet day and on the tenth anniversary of its inception we are pleased to help to promote internet safety education and responsible online behavior under this year’s theme, “Connect with Respect.

Today, in line with Safer Internet Day, Microsoft will release the results of its second annual Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI). This tool is based on global research, which aims to help gauge how consumers are meeting the challenges of today’s digital world.

As a parent myself, I understand the concerns that face us in raising our children in a world that is becoming increasingly digitised. Empowering individuals and families with the resources they need to more safely and securely live out their digital lives is the key to navigate through the risks and take fully advantage of the possibilities that the digital world offers.

To address these challenges, the vice president for the digital agenda, Neelie Kroes launched an initiative “to make the internet a safer place for children” a year ago. This initiative, referred to simply as the CEO Coalition, brought together key industry players from a converging communication and Internet market, including mobile and fixed operators, ISP’s, handset manufactures, social networking sites, online services, broadcasters and gaming developers.

The coalition was set up to exploring and advancing safety standards in fields such as parental controls, age appropriate privacy settings and content classification, abuse reporting and take down of sexual child abuse. We are very proud of the strides forward that the CEO Coalition has facilitated and we look forward to continuing development in this field with regard to best practices and new technological developments to assist in creating a safer online environment.

For Microsoft, 2012 saw the launch of new Windows 8 parental control features, Pegi for apps, Pegi Express for phone games and Kids Corner (enabling a child friendly mode on smart phones), and the on-going development of a European safety label that aspires to set minimum to first-rate standards in schools across the EU with regard to ICT education, You can see access our company statement on progress made during the CEO coalition at the Commission’s safer internet site (DG CNECT).

From the advent of online services in the early 1990s, Microsoft has maintained its commitment to Internet safety for people of all ages and abilities that includes:

1. developing and investing in innovative technological tools

2. partnering with others in industry, government, and members of civil society; and

3. creating and delivering resources that help the public better understand, and thus reduce, online risks.

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