E-safety is not just about raising awareness but also relates to legal compliance and specific safeguarding obligations.
Children (under 16), young people and vulnerable adults should be protected from all forms of abuse, harm and exploitation. Any party with responsibility for the care and control of a child has a duty to do all that is reasonable to secure the child’s health, development and welfare.
Students and staff need to be made aware of what activities could constitute an offence and, in some cases, a crime.
Students and staff need to be made aware of what activities could constitute a criminal offence. There are a variety of legal issues to consider within the e-safety context, including:
- Hosting liability
- Data protection
We support institutions to ensure that legal issues, including those associated with e-safety, do not become a barrier to the adoption and use of ICT. To help you meet your e-safety duties, we have a number of e-safety tools and resources you can use.
These include an e-safety policy template that you can adapt for your college, top tips, a checklist, short guidance videos such as e-safety FAQs and e-safety: what you need to know, useful links and relevant news stories. There is a social media suite of resources including a social media for staff policy template (Word docx), checklist and top tips. Specific guidance documents include one for independent specialist colleges and another on the use of Facebook. Various videos and webcasts are also available which look at the use of web 2.0 platforms, podcasting and recording lectures.
Inappropriate and illegal activity carried out via college or university systems may affect the e-safety of users, and providers should therefore ensure that consistent procedures are in place to help meet their legal obligations. Certainly, where a college or university is concerned about a crime, this should immediately be reported to the police.
Digital reputation and digital identity
Learners and staff are both at risk of giving away too much about themselves online, including images, audio and video. Young people routinely give away personal information, financial and personal data and comment on their emotional state without thinking about it in conversation with 'online friends'.
It is important for them to begin to think about the information they release to others online and how it might be used because increasingly employers and universities are researching digital identities using social networking sites.
To start a dialogue on who is going to see it? What will they think? What might they do? You could show the YouTube video circulated by Orange called Digital Dirt. It shows how your information on Facebook can influence a potential employer.
Universities have begun to develop resources for students to explore the impact of the digital footprint they are leaving behind. University of Plymouth has a site called myBrand and University of Reading has developed a site called This is me.
- LSIS produced a guide in 2011 on the safe use of Facebook
- Facebook have their own guide for educators
- Get Safe Online covers a range of commercial online risks and offers a beginners handbook
- SWGfL has guidance on protecting your online reputation
- Jisc cybercrime essentials
- Jisc’s legal risks and liabilities for FE and HE brings together potential risks associated with providing and operating IT facilities
- Janet’s guidance on AUPs including access to other networks via Janet, passing on and resale and compliance
- Janet’s guidance on dealing with computer crime
- Twitter and the law: 10 legal risks: 10 legal risks which apply or could apply to Twitter
- Janet’s introduction to firewalls
- UCISA information security toolkit 3.0