Safer Internet Day: Teachers – A better internet starts with YOU!

Safer Internet Day 2018

This week saw the annual “Safer Internet Day” event take place around the globe.

Safer Internet Day’s tag line is “Create, Connect and Share Respect – A better internet starts with you” and it’s purpose is to “promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people“.

It’s a fantastic, worthwhile, and extremely relevant cause, with tens of thousands of schools all around the world actively getting involved and holding special lessons and assemblies to teach their students how to stay safe and protect themselves online.

However, I think some of the teachers themselves need educating about how to be safe online!

I was quite astonished to see numerous tweets during and in the days following Safer Internet Day from schools and teachers showing off the work of their students had been doing to mark the occasion, but by doing so revealed sensitive details about their students, including the name of their school, their class, and in some cases their full names too!

I’ve included below a handful of examples of the media that some teachers and schools have been posting on Social Media in response to Safer Internet Day. I’ve heavily censored these photos to prevent identification of children and schools, however, the original photos posted on social media included children’s names (in many cases their full names), and their schools and classes could be identified by the accompanying posts/social media accounts (which again, I’ve not included, as I have no wish to identify them)

A class of 5 & 6 year olds holding up certificates for online safety day

Above: A class of 5 & 6 year olds holding up certificates which read “Well Done! Congratulations to [child’s full name] for participating in online safety day”
Below: Secondary School Students holding up Certificates of Achievement which read “This certificate is awarded to [child’s full name] – winner of best poster for Safer Internet Day”

Students holding up certificates for safer internet day
More students holding up certificates for safer internet day

Below: “Digital Leaders” at a Primary School being thanked for their hard work during Safer Internet Week – photographed wearing photo ID badges with their names clearly visible

Digital Leaders at a Primary School

Below: School children holding up certificates which read “Well Done! Congratulations to [child’s full name] for using the internet safely!”

A class of school children holding up certificates for using the internet safely

So my plea to schools and teachers is; before you teach your children that a safer internet starts with them, remember that a safer internet actually starts with YOU!

Consider carefully what information/photos you post online to social media sites. Information should ideally not identify the school, and it most certainly shouldn’t provide photos of children along with their full names!

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