The potential of Information technology as a valuable learning resource is immense. However, if children use the internet without safety awareness, they may fall prey to illegal activity or abuse such as cyber bullying, fraud or something even more serious. Hence, awareness of internet safety norms is absolutely indispensable to make children free to explore knowledge without feeling intimidated. Increasing proliferation and sophistication of various electronic devices makes it all the more obligatory for schools to control and monitor their use by students.The potential of Information technology as a valuable learning resource is immense. However, if children use the internet without safety awareness, they may fall prey to illegal activity or abuse such as cyber bullying, fraud or something even more serious. Hence, awareness of internet safety norms is absolutely indispensable to make children free to explore knowledge without feeling intimidated. Increasing proliferation and sophistication of various electronic devices makes it all the more obligatory for schools to control and monitor their use by students.
Schools need to promote a safe and secure educational environment for effective teaching and learning and to discourage students from actions detrimental to themselves, their peers and the value system. Schools are, thus, advised to take the following measures to pre-empt any inappropriate and illegal activity through IT enabled devices in schools:
- Educate students for the safe and effective use of the Internet.
- Make children explicitly aware of the rule for the acceptable use of the Internet and display rules in this regard prominently.
- Install effective firewalls, filtering and monitoring software mechanisms in all the computers and regularly review filtering and blocking policies and procedures. Various types of unsolicited contents available on internet must be blocked.
- Isolate Internet access from other school Network.
- Configure end user computer devices with parental control filters / Antivirus of appropriate standard.
- Deploy Digital Surveillance system.
- Make Children using the Internet to work in highly-visible areas of the school.
- Supervise and monitor all online activities in the light of educational objectives.
- Allow Children to access only pre-selected websites appropriate to their age group.
- Aware the teachers and other school staffs about Internet safety norms.
- Sensitise the parents about Internet safety norms.
- Take strict disciplinary action against those who attempt to bypass filtering or to access inappropriate or illegal material.
- Disable the usernames and passwords of those who leave the school promptly.
- Do not allow to create accounts for fictitious children or groups.
- Comply with all relevant legislation on copyright, property theft, fraud, discrimination and obscenity on all forms of IT enabled devices.
- Avoid digital and video images of individual students/teachers on school websites for safety of Children.
- Use only the licensed version of softwares.
- Draft a school policy on the safe use of electronic devices and implement it
Further with reference to Point No 6(g) of Circular No 8/2017/1217401 dated February 2, 2017, on Safety of Children in the School Bus, it is advised that the mobile phone to be made available in each of the school bus to deal with unprecedented emergency, should be of basic model without internet facility and data storage.
Schools are also directed to scrupulously follow the directions given in the circular number 02 dated July 29, 2009 regarding restriction of using Mobile Phones in school environments to ensure safety of children.4. Schools are also directed to scrupulously follow the directions given in the circular number 02 dated July 29, 2009 regarding restriction of using Mobile Phones in school environments to ensure safety of children.
It is informed that carrying electronic communication devices including those that can store/record/play audio-visual content; transmit or receive images; or provide unfiltered connection to the Internet such as iPads, DVD/CD players, game consoles, handheld PC, smart phones, laptops, tablet or any other gadget with similar capabilities of data storage/transmission is not permitted in school and school bus without prior permission and verification of school authorities. The principal of the school and transport in-charge should check the mobile phone available with the attendant of the bus.
It is reiterated that unmonitored use of any electronic communication device is strictly prohibited in school and school bus and any reported violation in this regard would attract disciplinary action from CBSE.
Information Security Awareness materials for student, teachers, system administrators are available at http://infosecawareness.in/ and relevant excerpts are given in the Annexure-1 for the ready reference of the school.
Schools are directed to adhere closely to the above directions to preclude exploitation of children.
Information Security Awareness materials for Student, teachers, System Administrators available at http://infosecawareness.in/Information Security Awareness materials for Student, teachers, System Administrators available at http://infosecawareness.in/
Children should be savvy about how they deal with other people (especially strangers who they could meet online), and not falling prey to an online scam artist who takes advantage of their ignorance. Some rules to follow when children are online:
- They should not give out personal information such as address or phone number or pictures.
- They should not open emails or attachments from unknown people.
- They should not become online ‘friends’ with unknown people.
- They should never arrange to meet someone in person whom they have met online.
- Tell /inform their parents, if anything they see or read online worries them.
Using a Web Browser
The internet is a way to stay connected with friends and family. For many Students, it’s also a way to stay current on news, research information or shop online and downloading books, online applications etc.,. The Internet has also become a popular method for banking, paying bills and completing and submitting applications and forms.
Using the Web browser is easy, to do things online, but there can be some hidden dangers including exposure of sensitive personal information and infection by malware, which includes viruses, spyware, and adware. Safe browsing means being aware of these online threats and taking the necessary precautions to avoid them. It only takes a little bit of effort, a few tools, and some basic information to be safe for browsing the Internet. Guidelines given below may be followed to protect personal information and computer online.
- Install and maintain up to date anti-virus software on your computer or device.
- Keep your internet browser up-to-date
- Be alert to unusual computer activity or problems.
- Install and maintain a firewall on your computer.
- Use a modern browser with features such as a pop-up blocker.
- Avoid storing sensitive material indefinitely on your computer.
- Change your passwords often.
- Beware of links sent via instant messaging and e-mail attachments.
Important things to remember:
- Friendships made online are made by clicking a button rather than talking to people and sharing experiences.
- Being online ‘friends’ with someone is much less meaningful than face to face friendship.
- one can easily fall out with an online ‘friend’ because of a misunderstood comment.
- It is far easier, and healthier, to sort out arguments and problems when one can talk to someone face to face
Tips to stay safe on social networking sites for students:
- make sure age appropriateness of an online activity before joining.
- may use a made up name or nickname on their profile.
- not make friends other than persons known personally.
- may use an email address that does not include their name.
- use the strongest privacy setting when setting up profile. This ensures that only desirable person will be able to view their information.
- share pictures and videos very careful when uploading-even with known persons as it can easily be spread much further
- be very careful sharing content online - especially if it is not their
- avoid illegal downloads.
We would love to hear your opinion and views on this in the comments below.