In 1999, the EU started the “Safer Internet Programme” in order to promote the safe use of modern communications services and to protect consumers from unwanted content. The program’s key elements have since been integrated into the Connected Europe Facility (CEF). It aims to combat illegal, undesired, or harmful content and to promote a safe environment for and awareness among Internet users. Citizen education and cooperation with societal groups and institutions are at the center of the program.
There are Safer Internet Centres across the EU. They usually include:
- Awareness Centres to promote media online competence and awareness
- Hotlines to allow illegal content be reported
- Helplines to provide assistance to children, youth, parents, and teachers
The German Safer Internet Centre includes the portal Internet-Beschwerdestelle.de, which is run by eco and FSM, the klicksafe awareness centre, the youth protection helpline jugendschutz.net, and the Nummer Gegen Kummer telephone helpline for children and young adults.