In Association With
Ezzo stresses. “Then society can deal with it, rather than denying the existence of it, or imagining it is a problem that exists elsewhere.”
Awareness of, and communication about, cyber safety is something parents and schools must tackle together says Alan Williamson, Principal at Kings’ School Al Barsha.
“It is about creating that triangle of trust between the student, the teachers and the parents, in terms of learning beyond the classroom, so that we are all communicating safeguarding around using it and making sure students know the potential dangers.”
Although it is issues such as cyber bullying and abuse that most often make the headlines when it comes to protecting children online, there are other things to consider too; things that the average teenager might not give a second thought, without some advice.
Children must be aware of their cyber footprints, explains Alasdair Lightbody, Head of IT at Kings’ Al Barsha.
“It gets particularly pertinent when you are dealing with older children and they are starting to apply for university places and jobs. Potential employers and enrolment tutors look at social media profiles. If they see comments that are inappropriate, for example, that could put the child at a disadvantage.”
In this situation, as with all issues surrounding technology and its safe use, open dialogue and building trust is the way forward.
Let’s give the final word to one of those young people we are trying to protect.
Harry is a Year 10 student at Kings’. He admits that, like all teenagers, he appreciates his personal space and has agreements with his parents on how much time he can spend on tech. But he also agrees that having an adult to go to if issues arise, is important.
“You can just be closed up with your own problems but you have to let people help you - be it teachers or parents - otherwise it [an issue online] will become a big issue.”