Online safety is one of the most frequently asked questions in the field of information technology and internet safety is a major issue for companies, governments, schools and nonprofit groups. Online safety encompasses many things, which include things like online gaming, online shopping, online education and much more. Prevention is always better than cure.
What is it about online safety and E-safety that make organizations, governments and school systems worry? Well, there are a lot of different factors but some of the major ones include: privacy, identity theft protection and anti-spamming efforts. The Internet has increased dramatically in popularity with people spending an average of eight hours on websites daily. As a result, many threats to the security of online users have arisen. A major part of these threats involve E-safety because it is difficult to determine how to deal with E-dangerous behaviors online versus offline.
One of the best ways to protect E-safety and online safety is through education. An effective approach to online safety cannot exist without an approach that educates people about the dangers of E-behavior and the positive benefits of doing so. That is why this year I’ve been working with a group of New York City Public Schools to develop an online safety training curriculum that will give our students a solid understanding of online risks and the necessary precautions they need to take to stay protected.
Many of the problems we see online involve kids surfing the web and becoming careless; they do not always know the proper channels or how to use the technologies available to them. The problem is not unique to kids; it also applies to adults who are drawn to the computer. Many parents are concerned about the safety of their kids online and are taking every possible precaution to educate their children about the dangers of the web, especially its dangers when it comes to using the computers in school.
This year, New York City is implementing a new online safety initiative which, if fully implemented will give our youngsters a solid education about the online risks that exist today and how to stay safe while using the technology available to them. Last year, the city council required that all of the public elementary schools get signed up for this program. This year, the city council is going even further, passing an ordinance requiring that all of the public elementary schools get signed up and providing them with training and resources to help them implement a comprehensive online safety program.
So what exactly does this new ordinance require? It requires signing up for an online safety class and providing the school with training materials and educational support to teach their students about online safety. It also requires the creation of a whole classroom safety course which will provide lessons not only about the dangers of the web, but also about the different safety codes, online threats and how to stay safe online. Finally, it requires the support of every participating school to develop and implement a plan to make the whole classroom safer online.
So this year, New York City is taking a giant step forward toward protecting our children. The signing of this ordinance is a huge step towards protecting New York City youth, as well as future generations. According to officials, this is clearly one of the most important pieces of legislation that they have ever had the chance to passed. It seems like a no brainer, but it is very interesting that something so important as online safety has been left up to individual school districts to decide upon.
Many people are concerned that with all of these different laws and regulations that are being imposed upon us by the New York State Department of Education, there will be less online safety training available to our children this year. This is not the case. Every school district in New York State is required to provide training and support to students, parents and teachers about internet safety. And those are only the basics. It is expected that the number of online dangers that we face on the internet will increase, but hopefully this is the one little bump in the road that we get to enjoy this year.