What is e-safety? | IT PRO (2023)


  • Security
  • e safety

We explain what e-safety is and how it can be managed in schools and beyond

by: Connor Jones

18 Nov 2021

What is e-safety? | IT PRO (1)

Whether you like it or not, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, especially when it comes to children. In marked contrast to older generations who may not understand how touchscreens work, kids today presume that everything works with a swipe.

This can be challenging for parents, particularlywhen it comes to keeping their children safe on the web. Even though lawmakers and regulators may think they understand what kids are doing online and onsocial media, the ever-changing nature of technology constantly presents new dangers.

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E-safety is the concept of protecting users as they navigate the internet, especially those most vulnerable. It tries to protect users from potentially harmful content that can be found on apps or websites, or the effects of such content, such as grooming, pornography, or cyber bullying.

Areas of risk classifying e-safety

The three important areas of risk when it comes to e-safety are content, contact, and conduct.

Content concerns itself with the material being accessed online, and whether it is harmful, illegal, and/or inappropriate. This can be in a variety of formats, inlcuding text, sound, images, or video.

Contact is related to sort of individuals that children interact with online. This includes how they are being contacted and what is exchanged. This leads directly into conduct, which is all about the nature of these exchanges, and whether they are potentially exploitative or harmful.

A lot of a child's internet time will be conducted within a school environment and it's a key place where e-safety will be implemented. The NSPCC has a number of guidelines for schools and educators to follow when protecting pupils online.

"A whole school approach to e-safety can help involve staff, governors, parents and pupils themselves in keeping children and young people safe online," it says.

Its resources help educational establishments implement thee-safety policies and procedures,IT infrastructure and support schools need, as well as helping schools and colleges develop "a trained workforce who are confident in online safety, identifying and responding to concerns".

How widespread is the issue?

Research conducted by Internet Matters five years ago revealed that more and more children between six and 16 were going online without their parents' oversight. Most parents said they didn't always monitor how their children were using the web, despite anxieties about unregulated screen time for youngsters, and the unintended consequences.

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The availability of hardware, such as laptops and tablets, and the increased role these play in essential activities such as work and study, is one key reason why children are browsing the internet more and more without supervision. Smartphones, which are as powerful as desktop machines, are universal, including among teenagers, and youngsters are able to carry devices wherever they wish.

Another reason is the heightening acceptance of children owning their own electronic devices, something that perhaps wouldn't have been possible as soon as 30 years ago. It's now much more common for younger people to take a more independent approach to their online activity. Sadly, however, large swathes of the internet are categorically not child-friendly and leavechildren exposed to risks and dangerous content.

A further study in 2017 by the UK Safer Internet Centre revealed that 70% of those aged eight to 17 had witnessed graphic content that was not suitable for their age group. Similarly, research by the American Psychology Association found thatchildren are first exposed to online pornography at roughly the age of 13. With regards to cyber bullying, an ONS survey revealed that one in five between ten and 15 had experienced at the very least one form of online bullying in the year ending March 2020, which equates to roughly 764,000 children. Around a quarter of victims, however, kept this to themselves.

In 2017, in an effort to quell the spread of indecent content reaching those it shouldn't, the government proposed a mandatory age verification system in order to view explicit materials. Plans set out under Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 involved users having to register with an age-restricted website using a traditional form of ID, such as a driver's licence, in order to proceed.

However, the plans were delayed in 2018 and ultimatelyscrapped a year later, putting the responsibilities back in the hands of regulators and away from lawmakers. Critics claimed the divisive proposals couldbe easily bypassedand there were difficulties when it came to social media sites. However, the NSPCC still described the scrapping as "disappointing".

What is e-safety? | IT PRO (3)


Teaching e-safety in schools

Online safety was introduced into all key stages of the curriculum in 2012, with schools required to teach children about how to stay safe online from the age of 5. The various levels of guidance are aimed at different age groups, ensuring all ages understand the risks and are able to alert an adult should they be concerned about someone's behaviour online or feel they are being targeted by cyber bullies.

According to Ofsted, schools are obliged to demonstrate that they are protecting both students and staff from harmful or illegal content as well as educating them on how technology should be used. Schools should also have the means to act in an appropriate manner when an issue is flagged to them, which includes reporting the incident to the governing body, parents and, if necessary, the authorities.

Whose responsibility is e-safety?

Although Ofsted lists e-safety as the responsibility of schools, parents and carers have just as significant of a role to play in educating the youth on the dangers of the web. Family members and other adults should pay attention to what children are up to online and they can do so by implementing processes to check whether the internet and connected devices are being used in a safe and secure manner. Just like their children's' teachers, parents and carers should also dedicate the time to educate themselves about e-safety and how to deal with issues when they arise.

Businesses should also take responsibility - and action - to protect their younger users against dangerousonline activity. They can do that by making it easier for users to alert the authorities of any illegal or harmful content, as well as monitoring their services to minimise the risk to children and young people when online. This could include enforcing age restrictions for certain services, ensuring services have the tools in place to report inappropriate content and having clear communication channels with authorities in case it is necessary to file a report.

However, not every step taken by tech companies to ensure the safety of their youngest users has been met with public approval. In August 2021, Apple was criticised for its plans to scan photos on US iPhones for evidence of CSAM as they are uploaded to the iCloud storage services, as well as introduce an iMessage surveillance technology that aimed to flag any explicit content received by a child to their parent or guardian. This raised concerns over user privacy, with more than 90 civil society organisations, including the UK’s Big Brother Watch and Liberty, urging CEO Tim Cook to abandon the policies. According to privacy activists, the algorithm used to scan for images had the potential to mistakenly flag CSAM content, or even be abused by authoritarian governments. Meanwhile, the iMessage surveillance tech could be exploited by “abusive adults” and lead to LGBTQ children being outed against their will. Weeks later, Apple announced the decision to delay the rollout of the technology, citing “feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers, and others”.

At the same time, Facebook halted its work on a version of its Instagram social network for children, citing a need for more collaboration with parents and policymakers, after leaked internal research documents showed that it was aware of Instagram’s negative effect on teen girls' mental health. However, the tech giant added the option of end-to-end encryption e2ee) for voice and video calls on its Messenger communications platform, defying warnings from the UK government that the technology will hinder law enforcement efforts to track down and arrest child abusers.

What is e-safety? | IT PRO (4)


E-safety during lockdown

The coronavirus lockdown has seen a significant rise in online sexual abuse against children, who are now required to stay at home and therefore beyond the safety of security filters used by schools.

In fact, the spike in cases had been so significant that, in April, the National Crime Agency (NCA) issued a statement advising parents to carefully monitor what their children are doing online when they use the internet to access school resources.

Although Ofsted places the responsibility of e-safety on school, remote learning means that parents and carers have a greater role to play in the online safety of their children. A spokesperson for the department told IT Pro that "how Ofsted is overseeing remote learning, including matters of e-safety, is currently under review".

In order to raise awareness of the threat, the NCA has launched 15-minute activities to parents and carers to do with their childrenwhich provide e-safety resources and exercises for families of children across all age groups.

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What does the E in safety stand for? ›

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, televisions, games consoles etc.

Why is internet safety important for students? ›

It's important for kids to be careful whenever they're connected to the Internet because online dangers are not just limited to bad websites. Chat rooms, computer games, and even social networking sites can be risky.

What is the eSafety guide? ›

Learn about the latest games, apps and social media, including how to protect your information and report harmful content. (This guide is for information purposes only and inclusion does not imply eSafety endorses a service or platform.)

What are 5 ways to stay safe online? ›

10 ways to stay safe online
  • Get the latest anti-virus and firewall software. ...
  • Update your internet browser. ...
  • Create a strong and easy-to-remember password. ...
  • Use a different password to the one you use for other services. ...
  • Change your password on a regular basis. ...
  • Never share your password.

What are the three E's of a safety program? ›

When it comes to safety the person who is at risk for injury must be aware of the hazard and what can be done to control the hazard and prevent injury. This is one of the three E's of safety: Evaluation, Education, and Enforcement.

What is another term for e safety? ›

In simple terms, online safety refers to the act of staying safe online. It is also commonly known as internet safety, e-safety and cyber safety.

What is the advantage of internet safety? ›

The major benefit of cyber security is that it prevents unauthorized or malicious user access to the system. The high-security protocol is implemented to protect against major data theft and makes the experience a lot more relieving.

How to use internet safely? ›

These include:
  1. #1: Make sure your internet connection is secure. ...
  2. #2: Choose strong passwords. ...
  3. #3: Enable multi-factor authentication where you can. ...
  4. #4: Keep software and operating systems up-to-date. ...
  5. #5: Check that websites look and feel reliable. ...
  6. #6: Review your privacy settings and understand privacy policies.

How do you explain internet safety to a child? ›

Be positive but also open about anything you're worried about. You could say “I think this site's really good,” or “I'm a little worried about things I've heard about this app.” Ask if they're worried about anything and let them know they can come to you or another adult they trust.

What are the e safety rules that need to be followed by any other users? ›

Cybersecurity 101: 7 Basic Internet Safety Tips
  • Protect Your Personal Information With Strong Passwords. ...
  • Keep Personal Information Private. ...
  • Make Sure Your Devices Are Secure. ...
  • Pay Attention to Software Updates. ...
  • Be Careful About Wifi. ...
  • Set Up Two-Factor Authentication. ...
  • Back Up Your Personal Data.

What are the e safety rules that need to be followed by any user in ICT facility? ›

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules & What Not to Do Online
  • Keep Personal Information Professional and Limited. ...
  • Keep Your Privacy Settings On. ...
  • Practice Safe Browsing. ...
  • Make Sure Your Internet Connection is Secure. ...
  • Be Careful What You Download. ...
  • Choose Strong Passwords. ...
  • Make Online Purchases From Secure Sites. ...
  • Be Careful What You Post.

What are the four categories of risk for online and digital safety? ›

The guidance states that whilst the breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable and ever-evolving, they can be categorised into four areas of risk; content, contact, conduct and commerce.

What is 1 example on being safe online? ›

Don't share personal details

Keep things like your address, phone number, full name, school and date of birth private, and check what people can see in your privacy settings. Remember that people can use small clues like a school logo in a photo to find out a lot about you.

What are 3 ways to protect yourself online? ›

Five things to do to protect yourself online
  • Lock down your online accounts. Your password is the key to all the personal information in your account. ...
  • Secure your home Wi-Fi network. ...
  • Protect your computer and phone. ...
  • Recognize attempts to steal your personal information. ...
  • Back things up.
Oct 4, 2022

What are the biggest risks to being safe online? ›

The dangers
  • cyberbullying (bullying using digital technology)
  • invasion of privacy.
  • identity theft.
  • your child seeing offensive images and messages.
  • the presence of strangers who may be there to 'groom' other members.

What are the 5 elements of safety? ›

Whether you are developing HSMS, conducting a safety awareness workshop, or redesigning a general safety program, you must consider the 5 components of workplace safety: Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement and Evaluation.

What are the 5 safety concepts? ›

However, for you to gain the knowledge of these elements, it will likely require extra effort in understanding the 5 E's of safety - education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and evaluation.

What are the big 3 in safety? ›

For any hazard or emergency on campus, there are three key protective actions that you can take. They apply in so many different situations that we call them "The Big 3". Please take some time to become familiar with how to evacuate, shelter-in-place and secure-in-place.

What is the difference between e safety and online safety? ›

Whether you call it E-Safety, Online Safety or Internet Safety, they all mean the same thing. Before 2015 the term used was generally E-Safety, but we now recommend the term Online Safety as this better represents the topic it refers to.

What is safety with example? ›

Safety is the state of being safe from harm or danger. We need to improve safety on our roads.

What is a simple word for safety? ›

On this page you'll find 33 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to safety, such as: freedom, security, assurance, asylum, cover, and defense.

How do I protect myself online? ›

Here are our 10 most important tips for staying safe online.
  1. Don't open mail from strangers. ...
  2. Make sure your devices are up to date. ...
  3. Use strong passwords. ...
  4. Use two-factor authentication. ...
  5. Don't click on strange-looking links. ...
  6. Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi. ...
  7. Back up your data regularly. ...
  8. Be smart with financial information.

How do I stay safe on WIFI? ›

Follow along to learn how you can stay safe when using a public wireless connection.
  1. Avoid accessing sensitive information. ...
  2. Use a VPN. ...
  3. Stick to “HTTPS” websites. ...
  4. Adjust your connection settings. ...
  5. Use a privacy screen. ...
  6. Turn off file sharing. ...
  7. Use two-factor authentication. ...
  8. Keep your operating system up to date.
Sep 15, 2022

Why is it important to protect your personal information? ›

Protecting our personal information is critical to preventing identity theft, as unscrupulous individuals can use our information to exploit and cheat us out of our assets. There is a need to ensure digital privacy to avoid these. This should be accomplished by making fewer data available to others.

What not to do online? ›

The 5 Things You Should Never Do Online
  • Respond to Spam. ...
  • Shop on Unsecured Networks. ...
  • Download Suspicious Apps. ...
  • Save Your Passwords in the Browser. ...
  • Share Work and Location Information.

How can you ensure your safety in using internet essay? ›

Privacy is the most important thing to remember while surfing the internet. Some general tips about privacy are to look for privacy policies on the web, and make sure to read them thoroughly. It would also be a good idea to get a separate email account for personal email.

What are the 4 key aspects of online safety? ›

You should consider the 4 areas of online safety risks when developing your online safety policy: content, contact, conduct and commerce.

What not to do online safety? ›

Here are some safety tips to remember when using the internet:
  • Don't give anyone your password, name, address, the name of your school or any information about your family.
  • Don't talk to strangers on the Internet.
  • Don't agree to meet anyone in person that you've met online.

What is e safety when using digital methods of communication? ›

E-safety is often defined as the safe and responsible use of technology. This includes the use of the internet and also other means of communication using electronic media (eg text messages, gaming devices, email etc). In practice, e-safety is as much about behaviour as it is electronic security.

What are the 4Cs of e safety? ›

The 4Cs of online risks of harm are content, contact, conduct and contract risks, as explained in Figure 5.

What are 5 risks that we have to be aware of in the use of digital technologies? ›

Here is a list of the most common technology security risks you need to avoid.
  • Phishing. ...
  • Pretexting. ...
  • Malware. ...
  • Online pop-ups. ...
  • Outsourced IT services. ...
  • Wifi and remote work. ...
  • Passwords. ...
  • Old equipment.

What is the biggest digital risk? ›

One of the most common types of disruptions that stems from digital risks is that of a data breach — a security incident that can occur via a variety of exploitable vulnerabilities.

How to be more secure? ›

How to Stop Being Insecure and Build Self-Esteem
  1. Affirm your value.
  2. Prioritize your needs.
  3. Embrace the awkward.
  4. Challenge your thoughts.
  5. Keep good company.
  6. Step away.
  7. Reflect on the good.
  8. Make time for joy.
Nov 22, 2019

How do I keep my address private? ›

Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Privacy
  1. Immediately establish a P.O. Box or CMRA (commercial mail-receiving agency) and NEVER receive mail or packages at home. ...
  2. Remove your home address from any of your company filings with the State and DO NOT serve as your own Registered Agent sharing your home/street address.

What is one way a hacker can get your password? ›

Phishing attacks

Phishing is one of the most common methods hackers use to steal personal information, including passwords. Six billion phishing attacks are expected to take place this year alone [*].

What is online security risk? ›

A cyber security threat refers to any possible malicious attack that seeks to unlawfully access data, disrupt digital operations or damage information.

What can the letter E stand for? ›

According to experts, E is a feminine letter which symbolizes the Egyptian goddess Isis, the Roman's Diana and the Greek's Aphrodite. In religion, the letter E stands for the breath of God, man, mother earth and feminine energy. The letter E also signifies enlightenment, ecstasy and intuitive wisdom.

What does smart stand for in e safety? ›

The SMART guidelines are as follows: S for Safe: Keep personal details away from strangers. M for Meet: Don't meet people that you know online unless you're with a trusted adult. A for Accept: Don't click any links that you're unsure about. Ask a trusted adult.

What does E mean in first aid? ›

E — Events – What events led up to the incident? In their words, what do they think happened to them? This information is hugely useful to the emergency services when they arrive at the scene, and anything a first aider can do to record this information is going to be a great help.

What does E in EMS stand for? ›

Emergency Medical Systems (EMS)

What is the symbol e called? ›

The term Euler's number (e) refers to a mathematical expression for the base of the natural logarithm. This is represented by a non-repeating number that never ends. The first few digits of Euler's number are 2.71828.

Why is e at the end of words? ›

The “e” at the end of words doesn't just change the pronunciation of vowels. It can also change the pronunciation of consonants—particularly “c,” “g,” and the consonant digraph “th” (a combination of consonants that represent one sound).

Where did letter e come from? ›

e, fifth letter of the alphabet, derived from a Semitic consonant that represented a sound similar to the English h, Greek ε, and Latin E. The original Semitic character may have derived from an earlier pictograph representing a lattice window or a fence.

What do the 5 letters in SMART stand for? ›

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

What are the 5 SMART rules? ›

5 Rules for setting SMART goals
  • S = specific. Your goal should include details of what you want to accomplish.
  • M = measurable. You should be able to measure your progress and accurately determine whether you've accomplished your goal.
  • A = attainable. Your goals should challenge you. ...
  • R = realistic. ...
  • T = timely.

What does the 5 in SMART stand for? ›

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.

What does E and E mean in hospital? ›

abbreviation for Accident and Emergency: the part of a hospital where people go when they are ill or injured and need treatment quickly. Medical places & organizations. accident and emergency.

What is Code E in hospital? ›

An external cause of injury code or E-code is used when a patient presents to a healthcare provider with an injury. The E-code is part of the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD) system used in clinical settings to characterize and standardize health events.

What does a E stand for in hospital? ›

A&E (accident and emergency) is for serious injuries and life-threatening emergencies only. It is also known as the emergency department or casualty.

What is the 3 letter abbreviation for emergency? ›

Abbreviation for emergency = emerg This abbreviation is commonly found in many medical industry applications. You might abbreviate the word emergency to emerg.

What is SAMPLE in EMT terms? ›

“SAMPLE” is a first aid mnemonic acronym used for a person's medical assessment. ... The questions that are asked to the patient include Signs & Symptoms, Allergies, Medications, Past medical history, Last oral intake, and Events leading up to present injury (SAMPLE).

What is PE in EMS? ›

A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in the pulmonary artery. This is the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs. This blockage, usually a blood clot, is potentially life-threatening. If your symptoms are severe, see below, dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.


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