The importance of raising awareness of online safety and how edtech can help
The recent data scandal that Facebook finds itself caught up in and the misuse of data by Cambridge Analytica, reminds us of the importance of protecting the identities of our children and keeping them safe and secure online.
According to research conducted by ResearchBods, 56% of young people aged 8-17 years said they have shared images or videos on a public media profile which can be seen by anyone, and almost a quarter said they don’t know how to control who can see what they post. Only 51% of children said that they always think about what information they could be sharing.
The research also showed that 70% of 8-17s said they have seen images and videos not suitable for their age in the last year.
These statistics give a strong indication that children aren’t always thinking about the information they share, what they view online and how they are protected. If we throw into the mix the potentially negligent use of data held by online organisations that collect it, then we are presented with the need for education professionals and edtech organisations to discover ways to raise awareness of online safety amongst young people and use the most robust and advanced education technologies available to protect them.
When it comes to raising awareness, we have discovered lots of useful resources for teachers and parents produced by the UK Safer Internet Centre which seeks to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for parents and young people, with parent packs and lots of online resources available.
The Centre also hosts Safer Internet Day which takes place annually and provides a great platform for raising awareness amongst children in schools. We have actively participated in this event since 2015.
Internet Matters.Org also produce age-specific advice for parents and steps to keep them as safe as possible and provides advice on what to do if you think your child is viewing inappropriate content, or a victim of cyber-bullying and online grooming.
From a technology perspective, we provide the most advanced, web filtering systems available to schools, that are compliant with the DfE’s statutory requirement to ‘Keep Children Safe in Education’ whilst adhering to Prevent Duty legislation.
We provide schools with the ability to protect the safety of their students online with a customisable cloud-hosted internet package that includes security from global leaders Fortinet and world-class web-filtering to ensure the best possible protection from inappropriate online content and data-sharing.
This allows teachers to restrict or block web pages quickly, tailor internet access by user, IP group or domain, set automated alerts on suspicious searches and view reports in real time.
As the online landscape continues to evolve and change, it is important that in our roles as parents, education professionals and education technology experts we also continue to evolve and innovate so that we are well-placed to keep our children and young people as safe and secure as possible.
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