New legislation including the Children’s Code, introduced to help regulate the impact of young people’s experiences online, proves that staying safe online has never been more important.

The rise of online games and apps has meant that young people increasingly connect with their friends and develop in a virtual environment.

Our research shows that being online has proven to be a lifeline throughout the pandemic, as 85% of young people have spent more time playing online games and apps than ever before.

However, we must be aware of the challenges young people face in terms of online safety, and conscious of the types of virtual relationships they are forming and with whom.

As we look ahead to Safer Internet Day 2022, I’m inspired by all those who continue to support our young people to harness the internet for good and in a safe way.

We are calling on the industry and others to look to become part of this effort and to talk to us about how they can make a positive difference.

WILL GARDNER OBE

Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre