What is Online Safety?
Online Safety is synonymous with the terms E-Safety, Internet Safety or Cyber Safety and concerned with mitigating risks associated with using communications technologies. This includes a wide range of devices and an increasing number of platforms or services.
- Desktop Computers
- Smart Watches
- Games Consoles
- Smart Televisions
- Set-Top Boxes
- Search Engines (e.g. Google and Bing)
- App Stores (e.g. Android Play or Apple Store)
- Marketplaces (e.g. Amazon and eBay)
- Social Media (e.g. Facebook and Instagram)
- Music (e.g. Spotify and Apple Music)
- Video (e.g. YouTube and Netflix)
- Messaging (e.g. WhatsApp and SnapChat)
- E-Commerce (e.g. PayPal and Banking)
- Short Messaging Service (SMS)
- Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
- Direct Messaging (DM)
- Electronic Mail (E-Mail)
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
- World Wide Web (WWW)
Benefits of Using ICT
There are numerous benefits associated with using ICT and a growing number of web-based services that can enhance the learning experience. As such, it is not practical or beneficial to remove the use of these devices entirely. Nor is it advisable to block access to every commutations technology or social networking site. Instead we must ensure that students, staff and parents are provided with sufficient training on how to use these services in a safe and responsible manner. It is also important that measures are put in place to intercept and address issues that may arise.
Risks Associated with Communications Technologies
There are three main areas:
Content – Being exposed to illegal or inappropriate content.
Contact – Being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users.
Conduct – Personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes harm.
Commerce – Risks such as gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and or financial scams.
These can be expanded further to encompass the following:
|Bullying others using electronic means – typically using social media or messaging platforms.|
Fake News & Misinformation
|Inability to establish the validity of online content.|
|Exposure to unsuitable materials which are available on the Internet and may be accessed unintentionally.|
|People befriending children to take advantage of them for sexual purposes.|
|Records which maintain a log of our online behaviours, photos and comments.|
|The amount of time that someone spends using a device or computer, watching television or playing on a games console.|
|Exposure to sexual content which is inappropriate for children and may be considered extreme or hardcore.|
|Physical response to an emotional pain of some kind and can be very addictive and may include cutting, burning or pinching.|
|Sending and receiving of sexually explicit photos, messages or video clips, by text, email or social networking sites.|
|Online activities which lead people to adopt extreme views, join undesirable groups or carry out actions which are frowned upon.|
Privacy & Identity Theft
|Unwittingly sharing personal information online and the risk of having online profiles stolen and misused.|
|Language or actions that target a characteristic of a person or group of people in the digital space.|
These controls can be used in conjunction with privacy settings to restrict access or increase parental oversight across a range of networks, devices, apps or websites.
Parents and guardians are often deterred from utilising parental controls as they are concerned that they may be complicated to configure or utilise.
The step-by-step guides below will help to overcome this technical barrier but it is important to keep lines of communication open to ensure that your children are aware of potential risks and feel comfortable seeking advice or support as required.
Visit our Academy Policies page for our Online Safety Policy.
Note: The website links below open in a new tab.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection command – UK Police
Are you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online? Make a report to one of CEOP’s Child Protection Advisors.
Report Remove – NSPCC
When a young person loses control of a nude image of themselves, it can be very distressing. Those under the age of 18 can use the Report Remove tool to seek support and establish whether the image or video can be taken down.
Internet Watch Foundation
The foundation allows you to anonymously and confidentially report: child sexual abuse internet content; non-photographic child sexual abuse images; and criminal content on the internet.
Ofcom Advice on Protecting Children
“Protecting children from harmful or inappropriate material on TV, radio and video-on-demand services is one of Ofcom’s most important duties and we take it very seriously. In this section you can find out how we do that – through our Broadcasting Code and video-on-demand rules – and learn more about the research we regularly carry out with parents and other viewers and listeners.”
Note: All website links below open in a new tab.
Thinkuknow is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline.
Supporting families online: Get expert support and practical tips to help children benefit from connected technology and the internet safely and smartly.
Parent Zone are the experts in digital family life. We provide support and information to parents, children and schools, working globally to help families to navigate the internet safely and confidently.
UK Safer Internet Centre – where you can find online safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe online.