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Online Safety


Information

This page aims to give you a quick overview of both the positive and negative aspects of the internet. We aim to update this regularly with new information regarding both sides - the good and the bad.

The Good

Content

The amazing thing about the internet is the way people have added content to be shared with the world. It is estimated that the combined size of all the content online is around 2 zettabytes = 2 billion terabytes. To give you an idea on size, a normal home laptop may come with a 1 terabyte hard drive to store your files on. Imagine 2 billions laptops inside your home with information to search through. The internet isn't sitting still either, it's growing constantly.

The wealth of knowledge not only in text format, but audio and video make the internet the quickest and arguably the best place to search for answers to your questions.

Where would you look online for answers to your questions? Can you think of any other devices and ways you could use the internet to find information?

Communication

If, like millions of people around the world, you have family or friends that live miles away, how do you communicate with them? People used to write letters, post them, wait a week or two and receive a letter back. With the internet you can send an email or instant message which takes seconds to arrive. Facebook portal, Skype, Facetime and Whatsapp are just a few applications that facilitate not only text communication, but also audio and video.

Communicating over the internet is not just quick and easy, it's fun and can include a lot of different aspects. Emojis for instance -"Over 90 percent of the world’s 3.2 billion Internet users regularly send these “picture characters,” as the word means in Japanese, with over 5 billion being transmitted everyday on Facebook’s Messenger app alone." Quote taken from nypost.com.

The Not So Good

Content

Hang on, didn't we just agree that content was a good thing? It's amazing, 2 billion terabytes etc. Well yes it is an amazing thing if used correctly. Look at the pictures below. One is real and the other fake. Can you tell which is which?

Not everything you see online is real. There is a lot of 'fake news' floating around. That's why we practise a way of verifying what we read online. Can the information be seen on different websites? Always check more than one website for the answer to a question - the first answer may not always be the correct one.

Communication

Again, we decided communication was a good thing? But it can be a bad thing too depending on how it is used. Cyberbullying has increased massively over recent years with the percentage of parents reporting cyberbullying rising from 11% in 2011 up to 18% in 2017 estimating a rise of over a million cases in 6 years, that is over 140,000 cases per year. This is heavily estimated and recent research shows actual cases of cyberbullying could be a lot more. How can you protect yourself from cyberbullying?

In school we teach online safety strategies to help educate children on how to deal with unwanted communication, this includes using screen shots/screen grabs to evidence the unwanted communication and using an application's block and mute features. This is particularly useful when gaming online. Often you do not want to be communicating with strangers and can limit communication between you and your friends.

We will look to add more information to this page as we talk about online safety in classes across the school.