Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Right Anti-Cyberbullying & Internet Safety Strategy

Social networking are getting hammered by the press following several high profile cyber-bullying cases on Twitter and Ask.fm. Politicians and parents are being vocal, wanting to ban social networking usage, and pass laws to regulate the internet, both of which are pointless and rather concerning exercises.

The answer is education, and "privacy on" default settings.  

It should be mandatory for all UK primary school children to be properly educated on how to use the internet safety,  learning about their online privacy and how to use social networking safely.This should be akin to the cycling proficiency test, as with kids riding bikes, all kids are online. Indeed many UK primary school aged children are using social network sites despite the teenage age limits, the problem is some parents are complete luddites, and are alien to such communication technologies, so cannot teach their sons and daughters even the very basics of online safety.

Default privacy settings on social networking sites are part of the problem. Any company, such as Ask.fm, which doesn't provide a default settings of privacy protection upon sign up, should be ridiculed by the media, users must turn off privacy themselves, which ensures they consider and accept the risk it posses to them. Perhaps such companies will eventually bow to public pressure and change their default privacy settings, as seen with twitter, they responded to such pressure with the abuse reporting this week, but in the past without the media spotlight, they just ignored their user's complaints. Many social networking sites desire to have user privacy set as off, as it is a fundamental ingredient to allow them to grow vast number of subscribers, which means bigger advertisement revenues, meaning more profit.

As teacher, parent or child, if need further information on internet safety  or even find yourself in a jam, you can get all the help you need at http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/


1 comment:

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