Category: Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety

curricular area and keeping learners safer online

Safer Internet Day 2024

Safer Internet Day 2024 will take place on the 6th of February 2024, with celebrations and learning based around the theme ‘Inspiring change? Making a difference, managing influence and navigating change online’.

Safer Internet Day is held every February all around the world. Last year, over 170 different countries celebrated the day! Safer Internet Day is a chance to think about any worries we might have about using technology and the internet, but it’s also about celebrating all the fantastic things technology can help us with.

Safer Internet Day is the UK’s biggest celebration of online safety.

Created in consultation with young people across the UK, this year Safer Internet Day will be focusing on change online, this includes covering:

  • Young people’s perspective on new and emerging technology
  • Using the internet to make change for the better
  • The changes young people want to see online
  • The things that can influence and change the way young people think, feel and act online and offline

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the celebration sees thousands of organisations get involved to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

Visit UK Safer Internet Centre or browse the links below to become involved!

Education Resources   (suitable for early level to senior phase)

Supporters Registration

Films

Get involved on social media

Parents and carers

Supporters Map

Bongles Text image

Introducing The Bongles and the Crafty Crows – Exploring early level Cyber!

The Digital Team and the Bongles have joined forces in partnership with Cyber Scotland, Cyber Aware and the Scottish Book Trust to introduce younger learners to develop understanding of cyber awareness at early level, through the publication of the new Bongles book ‘The Bongles and the Crafty Crows‘.

Who are the Bongles?

The Bongles are a group of monster friends who live on a paradise-like planet.

They reuse and repurpose items that wash up onto their planet’s pristine shore and turn trash into treasure.

The rhyming stories are full of slapstick and silly humour, which both children and adults alike will find funny. The quirky and whimsical watercolour illustrations are sure to capture the attention of young readers.

The Bongles and The Crafty Crows – The newest book in the series helps children to learn about cyber resilience in a fun-filled way.

Story Summary

Three wooden crates wash up onto the shores of Bongle Island.

The Bongles really want to keep this new found treasure safe from the crafty crows.

Will the crows outsmart the Bongles’ padlocks and passcodes?

Will the crows take the crates full of treasure and keep it all for themselves?

The Bongles and the Crafty Crows‘ story book will be part of the P1 Bookbug bags for every primary one.

There is also a variety of practitioner-created learning and teaching resources to accompany the story, a downloadable PDF of the book and an animation on the Bongles website.

You will also engage with this story in the new 3-part series of early level Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety webinars, This is early level Digital – CRIS and through various cyber events throughout the year, which will be advertised here, on the blog.

Join us in the upcoming introduction webinar and read along to find out more!

Upcoming Events

 

early/first level read along with The Bongles & the Crafty Crows #CSW24

cyberfirst courses for learners

This is Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety

This programme aims to support teachers develop their own knowledge and understanding of cyber resilience/internet safety and cyber security. It will explore the skills and knowledge children and young people need to participate effectively in a digital society.

Participants will reflect on the need for cyber resilience and how to teach it, develop a school curriculum for teaching cyber resilience/internet safety to learners of all ages and access resources and coaching to deliver your own cyber training in your setting. 

There will also be a session exploring cyber security and how to develop this as a curricular area in your school.

This CLPL will run before and after the Christmas holiday.

Webinars

New sessions coming in 2024!

cris programme header

This is early level Digital – CRIS

(Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety).

When we use the internet we either consume, create or communicate. Each of these behaviours has different levels and types of risk. Join us in this series of three webinars to explore how we can support early level learners to gain knowledge and confidence in Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety. This webinar series is for all ELC practitioners working with early level learners across a variety of settings in Scotland.

The sessions will include examples from practice, centered around the Curriculum for Excellence early level Digital Literacy CRIS Experiences and Outcome,

I can explore, play and communicate using digital technologies safely and securely. TCH 0-03

illustrating what invitations to explore, play and communicate safely and securely may look like across a variety of ELC settings. 

We will also refer to National self-evaluation framework for ELC, How Good is Our Early Learning and Childcare Quality Indictor 2.1 Safeguarding and Child Protection.

We welcome you to familiarise yourself with Curriculum for Excellence early level Digital Literacy Experiences and Outcomes prior to joining us. 

Each session is accompanied by optional follow up reading/professional development centred on the Cyber Toolkit, coordinating with each session.

Attendees will be invited to submit a short blog post illustrating how the programme has impacted practice,

The examples of practice included in the session content will be ELC focused, however this session is for all practitioners working at early level across a variety of settings. 

Glow login NOT required. 

Each session will be repeated three times throughout the year 23/24 with morning and twilight options.

To get the most from this course, it is advised that you join the sessions in numerical order.

Session 1 (60 minutes) This is early level Digital, CRIS – Consume 7.9.23 & 9.1.24 & 16.4.24

Session 2 (30 minutes) This is early level Digital, CRIS – Create 3.10.23 & 20.2.24 & 30.4.24

Session 3 (30 minutes) This is early level Digital, CRIS – Communicate 7.11.23 & 12.3.24 & 14.5.23

cyber security for ELC

Cyber security advice and guidance for Early Learning and Childcare providers.

All ELC providers want to create a safe and secure environment for the children in your care. As we become ever more reliant on digital technology it is increasingly important that you protect data (on children, staff and families), finances and also the integrity of any digital systems you use, including email, communication channels and databases.

There are a handful of steps you can take to minimise the potentially costly and disruptive effect of a cyber incident, and better safeguard the children in your care, as well as your business’s finances and reputation. This short seminar is for anyone working in childcare in Scotland. It is run by the National Cyber Security Centre (www.ncsc.gov.uk), and supported by the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and Care Inspectorate, as part of CyberScotland Week. It will provide you with advice and steps you can take to minimise the likelihood and impact of a cyber attack on your setting, and information about where to get help and advice if you need it.

Please click here to download e-pamphlet PDF Early Years practitioners: using cyber security to protect your settings. 

21 March 4pm, An Introduction to Digital Citizenship with Common Sense Education webinar

An introduction to Digital Citizenship for Early Learning and Childcare and Primary Practitioners with Common Sense Education.

Prepare your learners for success as digital learners, leaders and citizens. In this 30 minute webinar, you’ll learn the six core concepts on digital citizenship and how you can integrate common sense’s progressive scheme of work into your classroom/playroom.

This webinar is suitable for Teachers, ELC Practitioners including Childminders and Caregivers for early to second level learners.

All resources shared are available for free from commonsense.org/education

Sign up for the webinar using this eventbrite link – Sign up now!

cyber toolkit: consume

Cyber Toolkit: Consume

Teachers should focus on understanding how learners are using online platforms – do they consume, create or communicate?

This section focuses on the risks of using online platforms to consume content. Content that is consumed is created by others and shared online by individuals or organisations and can be any form of media, including video, photos, text or games. 

Cyber Toolkit home

Go to Create or Communicate

cyber toolkit: consume

A lot of our online time is spent consuming others’ content, such as reading news or social media posts, watching videos or playing games. The main potential risks of this content are:

Misinformation

cyber toolkit informaiton literacy and misinformation

Misinformation, sometimes called ‘fake news’, is content created to deliberately mislead or misinform audiences and the single biggest risk to UK internet users (22% of UK users encountering potential harms, Ofcom 2022). This may be done to further a cause or goal, such as in politics, or to cause harm or alarm, such as scaring people off medicines and vaccines.

view the Information Literacy page

Inappropriate content

cyber toolkit inappropriate content

Inappropriate content is any form of media that may be harmful to the person consuming it and is the biggest combined threat to UK  internet users (40%* of UK users encountering potential harms, Ofcom 2022). What is considered inappropriate differs between the people viewing it. Some content may be deemed inappropriate for the age of the person consuming it, such as swearing, or more generally harmful, such as racist language or imagery.

view the Inappropriate Content page

Spending money online

cyber toolkit spending money online

More of our money is spent online than ever before, however, this can be problematic when money is being scammed or stolen, or the individual loses control of their spending, such as with problematic gambling. Scams, fraud and phishing are the most commonly experienced potential financial harms, encountered by 27% of UK online users (Ofcom, 2022)

Fast Forward is the gambling support charity for Scotland and have in-depth guides and advice on gambling support – go to Fast Forward page.

view the Spending Money Online page

cyber toolkit create

Cyber Toolkit: Create (NEW)

Teachers should focus on understanding how learners are using online platforms – do they consume, create or communicate?

This section focuses on the risks of using devices and online platforms to create content. This can be any form of media, including video, photos, text or games. Creating content carries less risk than consuming or communicating as long as the content remains on the device – the biggest risks coming when created content is shared via communication.

Ofcom data (2022) shows that the number of children and young people creating online video content is actually a small number and decreasing as this content becomes ‘more professionalised’.

Cyber Toolkit home

Go to Consume or Communicate

cyber toolkit create

Internet safety risks and considerations

Access

In order to create online content and potentially inappropriate or harmful content, learners usually need access to:

  • a device (internet access is not necessarily required for creating media content)
  • apps to create the content, such as the device’s camera and editing or manipulation apps

When supporting learners with this area, it is important to consider who controls their access to these opportunities and resources:

  • Is there a risk of this occurring in school?
  • How is that enabled?
  • Are there steps that could be taken to reduce the risk of this?

If it is an out-of-school risk:

  • How can the school support with this?
  • Is support required for families or learners?
  • Who can support with this: Community Learning and Development or Police Scotland?
Potential risks

Being more cyber resilient reduces the risk of internet safety issues arising. We all want the internet to be a more welcoming space for children and young people and that is why we promote this positive message of safe, smart and kind.

Topics to explore with learners might include are:

  • the types of content they might create
  • the risk in creating or sharing?
  • the risk of creating and sharing content to them or might it harm others?
  • the potential risks, and associated harms, the same for everyone – why are they different, and why does this matter?

Cyber resilience guidance

Devices

The first potential vulnerability when creating content is the device not being securely setup.

Check with learners that they have taken these steps to reduce the risk of content being stolen from their device:

  • their device account (Windows, iOS or android) has a strong password (three random words)
  • makes use of 2-factor authentication (2FA)
  • additional security features, such as fingerprints or facial recognition
  • has a unique account for each user (if shared device, such as a tablet or laptop)
  • a screenlock that requires a passcode or biometric (face or fingerprint) to log in to stop unauthorised access (hacking)
  • the latest operating system (usually iOS, android or Windows) installed as this usually fixes potential security vulnerabilities
  • installed apps from approved providers, such as App Store or Play Store to avoid potentially malicious apps that allow content to be stolen through a ‘backdoor’

 

Learners should also consider where created content is stored – this will typically be on the device but can also be stored on cloud storage, such as OneDrive, iCloud or Drive, and this adds the risk of remote hacking and content theft

 

  • apple devices have a content filter, called communication safety in Messages, in their ‘screen time’ settings that blocks potentially nude content sent or received on children’s phones
Accounts

Another potential vulnerability when creating content is the accounts on the device or online platform not being secure enough and allowing others to access created content.

Check with learners that they have taken these steps on their apps to reduce the risk of content being stolen from their accounts:

  • they use a secure, perhaps separate, email account (with its own unique username, secure password and 2FA)
  • they use their device security, such as account and biometrics, to log in to apps as this means they need to have the device in-hand to access the account
  • they do not share access to their account with anyone
  • they know how to use the settings and security features to set the platform up to only share information they are willing to share – this might include turning off data or location tracking, for example
Report and support

When using devices or online platforms to create content, learners should understand that online platforms and services, including apps, carry greater risk of being shared without permission as the content created on these is almost always stored on their server, which is the company’s computer, and not the child or young person’s device. 

Should created content ever be shared with, or without, permission then learners should have the knowledge, skills and support to report and recover from the potential risks associated with this:

Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a child by law and ANY content that contains exploitative or indecent images or video of children is child sexual abuse and illegal.

Educators should follow Local Authority child protection procedures. Children and young people who experience this should report it to CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection).

 

It is not illegal to film or photograph someone without consent, however, any exploitative or indecent images or video of children is child sexual abuse and illegal.

Educators should follow Local Authority child protection procedures. Children and young people who experience this should report it to CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection).

Digital content that may have been created consensually but once consent is revoked it can be challenging to stop the other party sharing it. The Internet Watch Foundation Report/Remove tool can be used to request any exploitative or indecent images and video are removed from online servers.

Resources

Thinkuknow by CEOP is the national website for learning about child exploitation and online protection (CEOP). Their learning resources site offers information and resoruces for learners, families and educators. 
These are a selection of the resources for different ages:

Jessie & Friends (4-7s)

Play Like Share (8-10)

Send me a pic? (11-14)

Exploited (14+)

cyber toolkit communicate

Cyber Toolkit: Communicate (NEW)

Teachers should focus on understanding how learners are using online platforms – do they consume, create or communicate?

This section focuses on the risks of using online platforms to communicate. 69% of children aged 3-15 used an online communications service for making voice/video calls or sending messages in 2022 (Ofcom).

The Cyber First Aid Box can be used by families to discuss and provide support to children and young people who may have encountered an online harm.

Cyber Toolkit home

Go to Consume or Create

cyber toolkit communicate

Although most of our time online is spent consuming content, such as viewing social media posts, watching videos or playing games, there is perhaps greater risk of harm from online communications. Whereas the user is mostly in control of content they consume, communicating with others involves others and therefore the additional risk of their behaviour impacting the user.

It is important that learners learn how to setup and maintain as much control of their devices and accounts to reduce the potential risk of harm. Teachers should make learnign specific to as many of the learners as possible, the statistics below should help shape some of your conversations with learners and help to identify the apps most common to children and young people.

 

Ofcom (2022) statistics reveal that:

  • 50% of 3-15-year-olds use WhatsApp (rising to 75% of 12-15s)
  • 30% of children aged 3-15 use Snapchat
  • 30% of children aged 3-15 use FaceTime
  • 22% of those aged 13+ who had received a recent unwelcome friend request, follow request, or message, received this via an instant messaging service
  • 9% of UK internet users aged 13+ who had experienced an online potential harm in the last four weeks, encountered their most recent potential harm on an instant messaging platform

The potential risks of online communication are most likely (Ofcom, 2022):

  • unwelcome friend/follow requests or messages
  • trolling
  • bullying, abusive behaviour or threats
  • unwanted sexual messages

Unwanted contact

cyber toolkit unwanted contact

Unwelcome friend/follow requests or messages (20%) and unwanted sexual messages (8%) account for 28% of the potential risks encountered by UK internet users aged 13+ (Ofcom, 2022). Understanding how the platform works can help children and young people reduce the likelihood of this potential risk by managing who can and cannot contact them.

go to Unwanted Contact page

Trolling, bullying and abusive behaviour
cyber toolkit trolling bullying abusive behaviour

Trolling (15%) and bullying, abusive behaviour or threats (8%) account for 23% of the potential risks encountered by UK internet users aged 13+ (Ofcom, 2022). Understanding how the platform works can help children and young people reduce the likelihood of this potential risk by managing whose messages and posts they see, and how to mute or block people who may be trolling, bullying or abusing them.

go to Trolling, Bullying and Abusive Behaviour page

Technology assisted harmful sexual behaviour (TAHSB)
technology assisted harmful sexual behaviour

Technology-assisted harmful sexual behaviour (TA-HSB) is when children and young people use the internet or other technology to engage in sexual activity that may be harmful to themselves and others. TA-HSB covers a range of behaviour including:

  • the developmentally inappropriate use of pornography
  • online sexual abuse
  • grooming
  • sexting

go to TAHSB page