CTN is excited to join hundreds of organizations across the globe participating in Safer Internet Day! Led by ConnectSafely in the U.S., Safer Internet Day is an international educational event to promote online safety and responsible use of digital technologies. This year’s theme, “Together for a Better Internet,” highlights the importance of partnership and collaboration in cultivating a healthy digital environment. It also reminds us that a safer internet paves the way for a better internet — one in which everyone feels empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively.
As the internet weaves itself into more aspects of our everyday lives, it is essential that we equip people with the tools and knowledge needed to stay safe online. This is especially true for older adults with limited tech experience. According to the National Council on Aging, adults over 60 years old are at the greatest risk of online fraud — losing more than $3 billion each year.
Some might not be unaware of the common techniques and ploys used by scammers. Others might be hesitant or afraid to share information online. As a result, they miss out on helpful online tools like banking and telemedicine. How can we ensure that older adults can comfortably use the internet while remaining aware of potential risks and warning signs?
At CTN, we are motivated to help new tech users feel confident online. Our comprehensive digital literacy curriculum involves lessons on general internet safety, media literacy, data privacy, suspicious links, and common scams. We often focus on educating older adults, but many of our partner programs offer training to adults of all ages who lack sufficient digital skills training due to limited exposure or experience.
In partnership with Lutheran Social Services, we’ve worked with residents of the Mosaica Family Apartments on identifying possible scams and keeping passwords confidential. By participating in our classes through the City of Sunnyvale, parents have learned best practices for promoting safe internet use with their children. At Compass Family Services, CTN instructors taught Spanish- and English-speaking adult learners how to look out for phishing scams, update Facebook privacy and activity settings, and improve media literacy skills.
By leveraging our community contacts and collaborating with partner organizations, we can identify and connect with those who would best benefit from cyber safety training. This collaborative effort is one way CTN is working together for a better internet!
Whether you’re directly involved in internet training services or you’re more of an everyday tech guide for relatives, you can celebrate Safer Internet Day by sharing best practices and safety guides with your community, posting on social media with the help of ConnectSafely’s advocacy kit, or even spending some time educating new tech users on internet safety!