Conscious of the need to teach our students about cyber security and some of the risks on the Internet, we once again, for the second year running, welcomed experts from KPMG earlier this month. We took part in their Global Cyber Day which encompasses schools and colleges in 23 different countries, with around 80,000 students taking part.
According to a study on the Internet and Children published by The Centre for Cyber Safety and Education, 40% of children have connected with or chatted to strangers on the Internet. As many as 53% have passed on their phone number to strangers. Even more alarmingly, the study reveals that 11% of those who admit to chatting with strangers on line, have arranged to meet and 6% have provided their home address. Professionals from KPMG, specialists on cyber security, provide a fresh and enjoyable perspective on basic concepts to enable young people to stay safe on the Internet. This also gives them an opportunity to meet cyber security experts who have real knowledge about some of the very real issues which affect them on a daily basis. These workshops help our students to understand risks on the Internet; they help to promote classroom debate about issues such as personal data, social networks, cyberbullying, gaming on-line and smartphones. There is also an emphasis on some of the risks associated with being constantly “connected”, and how they can learn to limit their exposure.
In the digital age, when so many young people spend so many hours in front of a screen, it is important for government organisations, parents, teachers, companies and industry experts to work together. The collective aim is to provide young people with the information they need to keep them safe on and off the Internet.