What is E-Safety?
E-Safety stands for Electronic Safety and is concerned with the risks of using technology to communicate. It was previously known as Internet Safety but has since changed its name to acknowledge that these risks are not solely limited to the use of the Internet. Instead safety encompasses a range of communications technologies such as text and picture messaging. It is also associated with (but not limited to) the use of personal computers, smartphones, tablets, internet-enabled televisions and computer games consoles.
Benefits of Using ICT
There are a many 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 members and parents are provided with sufficient training on how to use these services in a safe and responsible manner. It is also important that sufficient measures are put in place to intercept and address issues that arise.
Risks Associated with Communications Technologies
Cyber-bulling is concerned with the use of communications technologies to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate or target individuals in a hostile manner (Stop Cyberbullying, 2013). The act of cyber-bullying can be perpetrated through a number of mediums including text messaging, emails and social networking (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and Ask.fm).
Publishing Personal Information
Social Networking Sites allow you to create online profiles and build a large network of friends. There are also a wide range of web based services (e.g. Instagram and Youtube) which allow you to share/distribute photos, videos and publish your day to day activities. The advent and popularity of mobile devices has also made it very easy to track an individual’s location using GPS satellites. It is important that we are careful about what we post/upload online and you must ensure that privacy settings have been set up correctly to restrict access to personal information.
These are actions deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child. This connection is then used to lower the child’s inhibitions in preparation for sexual activity or exploitation (Net Patrola, 2013).
The Internet provides a world of information at your fingertips. Whilst this has a number of benefits, it also presents some potential problems. Not all of the information uploaded is monitored or regulated. It can also provide access to materials that are inappropriate, upsetting, disturbing or fictitious.
While time spent using technologies can be hugely productive, a number of the services provided are also considered highly addictive. Compulsive Internet use can interfere with daily life, work, and relationships in the following ways.
- Becoming socially inept
- Feel more comfortable interacting with online friends
- Develop gambling issues
- Inability to stop playing games
- Become addicted to pornographic content
- Compulsively checking mobile devices
Malware is short for Malicious Software and is the general term used to describe hostile or intrusive programs. These are often designed to disrupt a computers operation, gather sensitive information or gain access to private computer systems (Mashable, 2013).
Examples of malicious software may include:
- Trojan Horses
- Key loggers
Malware can download unwittingly. It is important that staff, students and parents know how to protect themselves and their technological devices.