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Parents and teachers in Wales encouraged to switch on to internet safety this Safer Internet Day

Young people in Wales could be at greater risk of cyber-bullying and other online risks unless we support young people to keep safe online, the Welsh Government has said.

Bullying currently affects thousands of children in Wales and instances of cyber-bullying are on the rise. The Welsh Government is attempting to tackle the issue through its anti-bullying campaign, Bullying is Everyone’s Business.

To raise awareness of the importance of online safety, Welsh Government is holding an event at the Senedd on Safer Internet Day (Tuesday 7th February 2017) where Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams will be launching an Online Safety Zone on Hwb, the national digital learning platform for Wales.

The new Online Safety Zone is a dedicated area on Hwb designed to help keep children safe online. It will signpost those dealing with the effects of online bullying or any online safety issue towards appropriate support services.

Safer Internet Day is a global awareness day which aims to promote good practice in online safety, gives advice and guidance on the risks posed by new technologies such as social media and how to stay safe while using them.

As part of the campaign, the Welsh Government is encouraging people across the region to make bullying everyone’s business. Kirsty Williams wants to see young people, teachers, parents and professionals in Wales become more online-savvy, citing February’s Safer Internet Day as the ideal time to start.

Speaking ahead of Safer Internet Day, Kirsty Williams said: “There is nothing more important than the safety of our young people, and knowing how to keep them safe online is a key priority for me. It is essential we teach our children and young people how to use the internet safely and responsibly as well as equip them with the skills to be able to think critically and navigate the digital world in a safe and responsible way. Safer Internet Day provides us with another valuable opportunity to raise vital awareness of these important issues.”

If you know someone dealing with the effects of bullying, or you yourself are the victim of online abuse or any form of bullying, visit meiccymru.org for information and to access support services.

For more information, please contact Bethan Jones bethan.jones@workingword.co.uk or Ro Welsh-Harding Ro.Welsh-Harding@workingword.co.uk or call 02920 455182.