All Fun and Games? Exploring Respect and Relationships Online
Schools Broadband are supporting Safer Internet Day again. This year the theme is “All Fun and Games? Exploring Respect and Relationships Online.”
You may know that our web filtering service protects children in over 2,000 schools across the UK from accessing harmful and inappropriate content. But what happens when these children go home? We’ve partnered with the NCA to develop our filtering service’s block page into more than the typical “Access Denied” page. It now acts as an educational tool that informs children on the dangers of their searches and educates them on how to put their cyber skills to better use, in the hope of changing attitudes rather than simply moving the problem outside of school.
According to the UK Safer Internet Centre, 77% of young people have spent more time playing online games and apps during the pandemic than ever before.
Children are often introduced to cyber crime through gaming at an early age. There were 259 referrals between 2019 and 2020 from police into the National Cyber Crime Unit Cyber Choices Programme, with the average age being 15, and the youngest being 9.
There’s a huge growth in children and young people witnessing friends and teammates gaining gaming advantages online using DDoS attacks; targeted networks are flooded with traffic, causing speeds to slow to a halt and temporarily knocking competing gamers offline.
It is now all too easy for young people to access attack tools online. They will likely be aware that this is cheating, and against the rules of the game, but probably unaware that they are committing a crime. Many will have likely dipped their toe in the water to gain an advantage in online gaming, but what starts with DDoS attacks, hacking accounts, phishing etc. is just the thin-end of the wedge and can evolve into serious cyber crime such as ransomware.
Intervention at an early age, when exposure and exploration is in its infancy can prevent a ripple effect of online criminality, that has the potential to be felt beyond the individual and go nationally, and even globally. The Schools Broadband NCA Block Page is just one more way we’re helping to make the internet a safer place.
Celebrate Safer Internet Day
To find out what you can do as a parent, go to: https://saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/safer-internet-day-2022/advice-for-parents-and-carers
For teacher resources including Assembly and Lesson Plans, and classroom games for all age groups, go to: https://www.saferinternetday.org/en-GB/resources