With ākonga heading back into classrooms, Safer Internet Day 2024 is a timely reminder for schools and kura on how they can keep safer online.
Online safety involves making sure people know about good online behaviours and practices, such as identifying harmful content before clicking on it and not sharing personal information. Teaching kaiako and ākonga how to spot signs of scams, cyberbullying and misinformation can help create a safer online environment.
It’s a team effort
N4L blocked 12.6 billion websites over a 12 month period (2022/23), across the Managed Network, thanks to a combination of safety blocks and additional blocks requested by schools to help keep their ākonga safer online. We’re proud of how we can help via services such as Web Filtering, but there’s always more schools can do to strengthen their line of defence. Below are tips from some of the N4L team to help schools this Safer Internet Day.
“As a parent of two teenagers and as someone working directly with schools and learners, it is doubly important for me to create a safer and more positive online environment for them to reach their full potential…. When it comes to improving online safety, I think a lot of it is about focusing on the human element. For example, education of teachers, parents and students on how to safely use the internet, what to watch out for, what’s risky behaviour and the consequences of what happens when things go wrong, plus what to do and how to get help.”
Ryan Malyon – Customer Support Specialist Team Leader
“N4L offers flexibility with how your web filtering is configured such as blocking certain categories of content, specific websites and apps, and our Customer Support team is happy to help answer any questions you may have. Education and training are also very important methods to improve internet safety. Our friends at Netsafe have a variety of great resources available to help.”
Sam Lewis – Operational Excellence Specialist – Business Operations
“ Keep an eye on and subscribe to newsletters or alerts from Netsafe and CERT NZ. They will send you new and current information about things to be aware of, and information to help you or your school stay safer and more secure online. Talk to others, and see what they are doing to keep their school and self safe while online. ”
Matt Sandilands – School Relationship Manager
“A large part of cyber security and safety is defending the network and devices connected to that network from malicious attacks. Whilst managing the network and content is important, it also includes how we interact with data, such as the content we upload, download and engage with. It includes understanding risks and avoiding potential harm.”
Marnie Sutherland – School Relationship Manager
“Everyone has a role to play in keeping them and others safe… Some easy tips include; don’t click on a link that you’re not sure of and set up multi-factor authentication wherever possible.”
Graham Flanagan – Regional Director Central
“Ensuring strong, unique passwords are set up for online accounts and having Email Protection enabled can help keep students and teachers safer online. And remember, it doesn’t hurt to check something before opening it. If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.”
Jaquie Dilger – School Relationship Manager
Supporting online safety in schools and kura
Supporting online safety in schools is our bread and butter, and we have a range of products and services that can help.
For example, our Safe & Secure Internet is made up of 5 services, each with recommended settings (including Web Filtering), which we monitor to help schools keep this level of protection in place. It’s designed to provide a baseline level of protection for ākonga while learning online, and we recommend all schools have this enabled. And our Email Protection provides an enhanced level of email security – which is important in this day and age with the amount of scams going around!
About Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day 2024 (SID) is an important global initiative that has been running for over 20 years and takes place annually in February to promote collaboration efforts from everyone to help build a safer online world. This year, taking place on Waitangi Day, Tuesday 6 February, the Aotearoa New Zealand SID is being coordinated by Netsafe. From cyberbullying to social networking and digital identity, SID aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns.
If you’d like to hear more from N4L, or see more blogs like this, why not subscribe?