WHAT IS E-SAFETY AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
E-safety is a banner term, for describing all educational activities which promote safety and well-being regarding all aspects of internet based, on-line activity. Generally speaking, when people think of e-safety, they often remember a few disaster stories that have been in the news, or have circulated on social media. It is therefore, all too easy to see e-safety as a reactionary and negative series of rules and restrictions. Like many who recognise the vital importance of e-safety awareness, we at Salmestone aim to calmly assess all dangers by anticipating as many pitfalls as possible, with the intention of averting any crises before they happen. We believe in promoting e-safety in a positive manner, by educating our children as to the risks involved when using the internet in its many forms. We focus on Identifying different types of risk, naming sources of potential danger or trauma and fully understanding the threats they pose. Once the risk is known and understood, then adults and children alike can be made aware of the importance of making safe and informed choices, to enable them to use the internet happily and without fear. We aim to have our staff and pupils ready and prepared, should something go awry, both in school and at home. By being savvy and alert to the wide variety of dangers presented by the internet, users are empowered to responsibly and safely enjoy the rich benefits of living in the digital age.
1. WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
The most serious threats we are faced with when using the internet, can roughly be grouped into six areas of risk. They are:
- Predators who might be tempted to make contact with a child or begin ‘grooming’ them.
- Cyberbullies and Trolls who deliberately engage in malicious or vindictive behaviour.
- Inappropriate text, images and videos, which are a threat due to their emotive, hateful, violent or sexual content.
- Hackers and Data thieves who might attempt to crack passwords, copy files and steal data such as credit card numbers.
- The risk of downloading a virus, or being affected by malware or spyware.
- Cons and Scams which can lead to losing money, or exposure to the above risks 1-5.
This fantastic table (courtesy of Ofsted) shows not only these risks, but the role of the individual concerning the risk:
Source: Ofsted – Inspecting-e-safety January2013
2. HOW DO WE GUARD AGAINST THEM?
Now that the risks have been firmly established, the way forward is this: An internet user should ask three key questions about the technology they are using, whether it be a device, an app, a website, a service, Xbox live etc:
- What are the dangers presented by this particular technology?
- What is the worst case scenario when using this?
- How, if at all, can we use this technology safely?
We wanted to make one document which summed up the importance of following this sequence, by showing the positive consequences of safe choices, which are opposed by the unpleasant consequences of unsafe decisions. So, we created the e-safety choice wheels to summarise this. We believe that these provide a visual analysis of the vast majority of internet dangers, in the clearest and most concise manner possible.
THE E-SAFETY CHOICE WHEELS
The e-safety choice wheels, as displayed in the school’s ICT suite.
Parents are invited to freely download the e-safety choice wheels as one document and are welcome to share them. The document is a guide to the best and worst responses to every threat, and the potential consequences of those choices. The hope is that any person, of any age can be made aware of the seriousness of the worst internet-based dangers, recognise the importance of thier own role in avoiding this danger, then consistently make informed, responsible, safe choices. In that context, we are free to enjoy all internet activities, safe in the knowledge that we know what to do and what choices to avoid on a day-to-day basis. The most important safe choices, emphasised by the choice wheels are these:
1) If A child encounters anything they are not comfortable with, then they should tell an adult they trust immediately.
2) Children should never give out personal details on-line, such as their full name, age, gender, location, school e-mail address or phone number.
3) If the decision is made to meet an internet aquaintance in person, then a parent or carer is to accompany them. Children of primary school age are strongly advised NEVER to meet someone whom they only know on-line.
4) Children should not deliberately search for innapropriate things, and should resist peer-pressure to do so.
5) They are not to trust ‘win an ipad’ adverts, nor to open emails or download anything from sources they don’t recognise or trust.
6) They should never take, send, nor receive revealing pictures of themselves or others. ‘Sexting’ is both dangerous and illegal.
7) Children should protect all devices and services with a PIN or a secure password which remains secret.
8) All existing, emerging and future technologies should be evluated using the three key questions: What can go wrong? What is the worst-case-scenario? Then: How, if at all, can we use this technology safely?
9) Children are to be aware that unkind messages constitute cyber-bullying, and to be alert not to become a perpetrator, nor an accessory to cyber-bullying. Children are also be on the look out for their friends, in case they are targetted. Children are taught to take a screenshot of, and report any malicious or vindictive messages received to an adult they trust.
10) Finally, Children should be aware of the power of the police to investigate cyber-bullying.
DO YOU WISH TO REPORT A THREAT URGENTLY?
Are you worried your child is being groomed or is somehow in clear danger on-line? Please click the below button to get in touch with the police immediately. This link directs you to the Children’s Exploitation and On-line Protection department of the U.K. Police force. Please feel free to contact
Mr Arnold (webmaster and e-safety officer) if you require any further assistance, as he is here to help.
4. WHAT STEPS DOES SALMESTONE TAKE TO MANAGE RISKS AND DANGERS?
To minimise the risk of children encountering any of the six dangers presented in the e-safety choice wheels, the school takes many measures to keep children as well as staff safe.
These measures include the following:
- All internet traffic both in and out of the school is monitered and firewalled by EIS
- Should a pupil ever encounter something they don’t like on screen, they are taught to click on a small animated dolphin named Hector Protector, and wait for help to arrive from an adult, who will note the screen, then alert the e-safety officer (Mr Arnold) Please click here, to reach Hector’s homepage, where you can watch his cartoons, print out pictures to colour and play jigsaw games. Adults can download and install Hector on their home devices here
- The school’s messaging service within the virtual learning environment, features a ‘flag to admin’ button, so pupils can alert Mr Arnold, should they receive a message that is in any way unpleasant.
- All pupils are given a password, which they are instructed to keep private, so no one but they can access their files or VLE profile.
- The use of Youtube is restricted to teachers only, with strict policy of teachers vetting all clips privately, prior to showing children.
- The school features a ‘Keeping Salmestone e-safe’ poster, on display in every classroom. This shows pupils all the safe choices they are required to make, whilst explaining how each rule keeps them clear of danger.
- The school teachers an e-safety curriculum, centered on the school posters and the e-safety choice wheels, elaborating on different dangers at an age-appropriate level.
- If they receive a message that concerns or upsets them, pupils are taught to take a screen shot, save and if possible print this, whilst alerting an adult.
- In year 6, as part of our Living and Growing series, dangerous practice of ‘sexting’ by taking ‘naked selfies’ or similar images is discussed, in anticipation of peer pressure and potential requests from a future partner. Pupils are informed of the serious legal ramifactions of sending or receiving an image of this kind.
5. WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS A PARENT OR CARER?
1) Firstly, it is necessary to do all you can to establish a positive, trusting relationship with your child. Discuss the contents of the e-safety choice wheels with them and ensure that they make the same safe choices indicated by them. Reassure them that you are ready to help should they encounter a problem such as: An unkind message, an in appropriate image or video that contains swearing or nudity, or if they have suspicions about someone who is contacting them etc. The NSPCC Has some superb advice and videos about this, and further aspects of on-line safety. Please click on the image below to visit the fantastic ‘Share Aware‘ section of their website.
2) Set Privacy settings for gaming devices with this guide, courtesy of O2. Also, use Internet settings that filter searches for adult content.
3) Install anti-virus software on all your devices. A Useful link for this is available below.
4) Be vigilant and monitor what activities are being undertaken by your children. Ensure they are playing games with a suitable PEGI certificate. Ensure they do not use social networking sites till they are of a suitable age. Facebook for example, does not admit members who are under 13. The following guide provides clarification:
5) If you feel your child is being cyber-bullied, please take a screenshot of the offense, and ask to see Mr Arnold, Mrs Marlow, or a member of the school’s senior leadership team. Ensure your children know how to use moderating facilities such as blocking, reporting and flagging. This document provides further advice about bullying and cyberbullying.
6) Set strong passwords, such as, Ha55yP0tter or Sp0ng3b0b. Tell your child not to share their passwords with friends and don’t give them your own passwords.
7) Advise your child to think before they post. Remind them that everything can be seen by a vast, invisible audience (otherwise known as friends-of-friends-of-friends), and, once something’s online, it’s hard to take back. Everyone should show respect to others on-line, both children and adults alike. Crucially Personal details must always be kept private. These include, your child’s full name, address, age, date of birth, etc. Advise them to use nicknames and Avatars wherever possible.
8) When they are old enough to use social media, be a Facebook ‘friend’ and Twitter ‘follower’ etc. Each family will have different rules, but it’s a good idea for parents to have access to their child’s pages, at least at first, to be sure that what’s being posted is appropriate. Parents can help keep their children from doing something they’ll regret later.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this page, we sincerely hope that you now feel enlightened as to variety and nature of the dangers and risks we face when using the internet. Furthermore, we hope you feel you have been given the tools.
6. WHERE DO I GO FOR MORE DETAILS AND FURTHER INFORMATION?
For further information about e-safety:
For a recommended source of free anti-virus software: http://www.avg.com/gb-en/home
To view the Hector’s world cartoons with your child: http://thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/hectorsworld/
To learn how to take a screenshot on your particlar model of tablet/smartphone: http://www.quickscreenshots.com/
For advice on setting parental controls on your device:
To ask our e-safety officer Mr Arnold a question, please go to our enquiry form and choose ‘Web manager’ from the drop-down menu.