IT support teams are faced with a difficult balancing act. On one side fast, reliable and flexible services are required to support innovative practice whilst on the other side they are expected to maintain a secure, safe and reliable network. As mentioned under risk assessment, Ofsted 2012 found in schools that pupils were more vulnerable overall when locked down systems rather than managed systems were used because they were not given enough opportunities to learn how to assess and manage risk for themselves. Simply locking down systems is not the answer.
From an infrastructure standpoint e-Safety is closely related to aspects of network security, such as:
- protecting the network from external threats and malware
- preventing access to inappropriate content
- ensuring integrity and confidentiality of data
- monitoring activity to detect inappropriate behaviour.
In order to carry out the above activities the following precautions will need to be put in place (further information about these aspects can be found on the RSC e-Responsibility website and related links and resources at the bottom of the page):-
- policies and procedures
- protection of the network
- blocking of inappropriate content
- securing of organisational and learner data
- password protection.
Paul Drage is IT Manager at Homefield College. Read his technical report on the use of Cyberoam which protects students from going to untoward sites but still gives them the freedom to make choices.
RSC e-Responsibility Links
Other related links
NEW! E-Safety desktop wallpaper
All-in-one backgrounds These show all 5 E-Safe Ts on each computer and laptop desktop background. Choose from widescreen or square, to fit the screens of the computer(s) and laptop(s) you use. Please note: if your computer is managed by an IT Support team, you may need their permission and/or technical help to change desktop backgrounds.
Sets of backgrounds These sets will show a single E-Safe T on each computer or laptop desktop background. These can be used to create a striking display across multiple computers, as shown in the computer lab photo below.
NEW! E-Safety screensaver
This shows all 5 E-Safe Ts. It will work on any Windows computer or laptop. Note: if your computer is managed by an IT Support team, you may need their permission and/or technical help to download and change screensaver.
Shows potential use of desktop backgrounds and screensavers in a computer room.