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16 Feb 2016

Think… Are your students safe when it comes to social media and online threats?

Think… Are your students safe when it comes to social media and online threats?

The US law, Coppa (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) dating back to 1998, is the reason why social media sites require their users to be of a certain age.

Offensive content can often be shared across social media sites and as the sites don’t filter content based on age, this means that once a user is logged in there is no protection against what they are able to see.

A recent survey for CBBC Newsround, for marking this year’s safer internet day, suggests that despite the age restriction of 13+ for the majority of social networking sites, 78% of 10-12 year olds have a social media account.

When it comes to accessing these accounts, 1-5 children will give out personal information such as their home address, mobile number,etc.

Less than half of children have their accounts set to private, meaning that any pictures, posts and comments can be accessed by anybody else using the social network.

This can include any potential, harmful user's who could pose a threat to the child.

What can you as schools do to help and prevent?

Here are five ways you can help to protect your students from underage content origination on social media:

  • Hold an assembly - a full school assembly discussing the dangers of social media including grooming, bullying and nasty comments. Involve parents and get their support on new e-Safety initiatives
  • Invest in social media controls - most web filter providers block or allow social media, for over 13s you may prefer to make Facebook and Twitter Read-Only and limit to quota, so students can keep up-to-date without the distraction of full access.
  • Realise the educational benefits of YouTube for Education - YouTube for Education is a safe way of allowing students access to educational content. Adult videos and the YouTube comments are removed; a more education-focused solution than blocking YouTube full stop.
  • Control outbound content from your school with egress filtering - egress filtering enables IT to block certain words or phrases from being published.
  • Take it offline - Serious safeguarding issues like bullying, grooming and radicalisation aren’t exclusive to the internet, young people are also at risk when they leave the classroom. Schools needs to have processes in place for monitoring students

  To find out more information on how our Content Aware Web Filter may be the solution for your school Click here.   Source:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35524429

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