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Government proposals to make Britain the safest place in the world to be online - Comments from Smoothwall

October 2017 by Claire Stead, Online Safety Ambassador at Smoothwall

Comments from Claire Stead, Online Safety Ambassador at Smoothwall about the story on the new Government proposals today to make Britain the safest place in the world to be online.

Claire Stead, Online Safety Ambassador at Smoothwall: “Proposals in the Government’s ’Internet Safety Strategy’ are a necessary step in the increasing battle we face in keeping safe online. As we become a more digital society, it is inevitable that we are going to need measures in place to ensure wellbeing online is protected, especially of children. It needs to be a collaborative effort from the government, educational establishments, social media and technology companies as well as from those at home to safeguard children online.

“Online abuse, cyber bullying and exposure to pornography are becoming some of the most concerning issues of this generation, and we can start to tackle this at schools. It’s encouraging to see plans about online safety taught alongside issues such as sex education and other ‘life lessons’ – it’s part and parcel of children’s lives these days and instead of preventing access to the web, we need to ensure a balance of embracing the internet but warning against the potential risks. As the web has become the norm in classrooms, teachers and staff have a responsibility to make sure pupils are protected from online dangers and ensure that incidents don’t go undetected or unnoticed.

“Children often see protection such as web filtering as an irritant and try to get around it. Schools and staff need to be ahead of this, and ensure they have the knowledge and tools needed to protect children fully, digitally enabling them without risking their safety. Training teachers on the fundamentals of online abuse isn’t enough, however; schools also need a smart, proactive approach to content filtering and monitoring. While it’s not possible to completely eradicate problems such as cyberbullying, sexual abuse and radicalisation, if schools have both the smartest web filtering and monitoring in action, they then have a solid foundation from which they can protect children from all kinds of nasty threats online.”




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