New world. Is the Internet safer as usage increases due to the pandemic?

Illustration for the
Illustration for the “Safer Internet Day”. (ANTOINE WDO / HANS LUCAS)

Created 18 years ago by the European Commission, the Safer Internet Day (in French, Internet without fear) is a global day to take stock of good digital practices. It ranges from cybersecurity to protecting the youngest.

During the pandemic, digital uses have exploded and we sometimes have the impression that the picture is very dark, given the many cases of harassment, hatred or fake news. However, the results would, in reality, be mixed. According to a Microsoft study, 17% of French people say they have seen an improvement in online citizenship during the pandemic. More people connected with their family and friends, which created a sense of community, which was quite reassuring. At the same time, the health crisis has encouraged the proliferation of bad practices, and 15% believe that the pandemic has had a negative effect on online citizenship. According to this survey, France ranks 11th most “civilian” country out of 32 countries surveyed.

On the occasion of this day, all kinds of information is launched. The Government has today created an information platform called, mainly focused on pornography and the means to protect children against it. For its part, Facebook is launching a chatbot, a conversational agent, which answers the questions that may arise when a child is the victim of inappropriate content, or a suspicious contact on social networks, available on Facebook, but also on the Net-ecoute and e -fance sites.

Finally, there are coaching applications for children and parents, such as that of the Bordeaux startup MyTwiga, which provides all kinds of advice and best practices and allows parents to keep an eye on children’s connection time, but without however, be in full parental control (paid application).

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