What is E safety?
e-Safety stands for electronic safety, it is not just about keeping safe on the internet but also keeping safe on all electronic devices such as mobile phones, television etc. Cyber safety or E-Safety focuses on maximizing a user’s awareness of personal safety and security risks to private information and property associated with using the internet, and the self-protection from computer crime.
As the number of internet users continues to grow worldwide, internets, governments and organizations have expressed concerns about the safety of children and teenagers using the Internet. Over 45% have announced they have endured some sort of cyber-harassment. Safer Internet Day is celebrated worldwide in February to raise awareness about internet safety. In the UK the Get Safe Online campaign has received sponsorship from government agency Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) and major Internet companies such as Microsoft and eBay.
What Is an e-Safety Check?
An e-Safety Check is a routine procedure adopted to seek and verify compliance with e safety rules. In institutional settings, it guarantees the school’s ability to safeguard, protect and educate pupils and staff in the acceptable use of technology and communications (including social media) as well as implementing established mechanisms in place to identify, intervene in and escalate any incident where appropriate. SEE: How Can e-Safety Be Implemented In Schools
What is E safety important?
Children are learning more and more about the internet at a young age. Ofcom reports that 43% of 10-11 year olds had a social media account in 2016, with 55% 3-4 year olds already welcoming the use of tablets into their lives. With these rising figures, children are increasingly susceptible to online dangers. Unfortunately, primary schools indicate they are less confident than high schools on resolving and responding to online issues. This rise in internet use among younger children is particularly problematic when combined with the lack of confidence in how to deal with potential issues. Thus, should be e-safety a priority in inspections.
Each school should have an E-safety policy that covers not only internet technologies but also electronic communications including Wi-Fi, mobile phones and game consoles. The internet is an incredible resource but left unmanaged it poses risks.
Schools must educate their staff and pupils to develop skills to help them evaluate online material in a critical way to ensure that they keep themselves from harm. School staff must also be educated on e-safety, through professional development sessions, to protect the pupils, themselves and a school as a whole.
E-safety’s importance is now rated so highly that regulatory authorities review schools for their e-safety policy and measures during their inspections. A school’s e-safety policy needs to be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that they keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape. It must be shared with staff, pupils and with the wider community of the school including parents, Governors and volunteers.
There is a wealth of materials and lesson plans out there to educate children on how to protect themselves when using Social Media, against cyber bullying and helping them to understand their digital footprint. SEE: The 5 Types of Safety Signs