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Safeguarding Children Online

June 9th, 2020

Written by Katy Winship

Safeguarding users online

The internet is a huge part of growing up in the modern world and just as it is fabulous, it is also a very dangerous place, so it’s our responsibility as adults to protect children from those dangers.

And it’s not just children that need protecting. In fact, over 50% of 18 to 24-year olds have been victim to some sort of cyber-bullying. That’s why safeguarding is high on everyone’s agenda, and it doesn’t just apply to protecting children.

There are many ways to help protect vulnerable people and protect sensitive data and hardware vendors see the value in investing in this area. For example, secure printing is the latest buzzword in hardware; Brother’s Designed for Business range printer uses personal ID cards to release confidential print-outs - ensuring it’s not a race to the printer to keep confidential files safe - and anti-intrusion detection technology to constantly monitor and protect against the threat of hacking.

Another fantastic bit of kit for safeguarding is the Smoothwall Monitor Managed Service. Designed to protect students by monitoring keystrokes and on-screen content in real-time, allowing schools to detect online risks promptly and address issues of concern as they occur. Paired with Smoothwall’s Filter and Firewall, school’s can ensure that their students are protected with this market-leading safeguarding package.

Did you know that an estimated 20% of parents don’t supervise their offspring’s internet use at all?

Safeguarding children isn’t just for schools

Many of the teachers we speak to know that the dangers are now at the fingertips of our children. With growing numbers of kids having their own personal smartphones it’s important that everyone knows how to keep safe.

It’s vital to work alongside parents and discuss with children what is safe and appropriate to post and share online. Be honest with children so that they understand the implications that come with the implications of owning a phone. Make sure they realise that it could be seen by anyone and be there forever and he/she could be very embarrassed/disgraced in future.

A few tips you can give parents to keep children safe online:

  • Make sure they know how to block or unfollow anyone who posts hateful, personal or abusive things.

  • Just because your child’s friend can play Call of Duty doesn’t mean that you should cave into your children – make sure the games they play are age appropriate.

  • When using public Wi-Fi remember that it might not include parental controls.

  • Check if any of their apps have ‘geo-location’ enabled, sharing their location unintentionally.

  • Remember that services like Facebook and YouTube have a minimum age limit of 13 for a reason.

  • Ask your child to show you their group chats on apps such as WhatsApp because anybody can add their friends or siblings to the chat and easily access your child’s photo, phone number and name.

  • It’s also important to participate in their online activities with your children; for example, if you have got a child who likes online gaming you should occasionally play with them too, making sure you know who else is online.

  • Make sure they understand the dangers of revealing private information such as their phone numbers, email address and home address.

Discussing these things can be an uncomfortable conversation to have but it’s better than the alternative. Oh, and don’t give them your bank details, this could be a very costly mistake!