E-safety: a guide for students

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Use ICT responsibly in accordance with our Acceptable Use Policy (below) – Make sure you read the AUP.

Don’t post, send or share anything you wouldn’t want your parents, teachers, future employers to see.

Keep your private information private – do not give out personal details online like your birthday or address, even on social networking sites like Facebook.

Your username and password should belong to you, and only you. Remember to change your passwords regularly.

Passwords should be completely random and unique, but still memorable. Try using combinations of numbers and letters.

Don’t leave your computer whilst your account is still logged in – anyone can start using it.  If you are being bullied or have any issues with e-safety, talk to someone you trust – do not deal with it on your own.

Tell your parent, carer, trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.

 Childnet Logo  Childnet International works with young people to help make the internet a great and safe place.

In the Childnet Hub you’ll find top tips, competitions, blogs and advice to help you to use the internet safely, responsibly and positively. You can also visit the get involved section to have your say on all things internet and new technology related!  Go to childnet and kidsmart for further information.

 

Acceptable Use of Computers by Pupils

Introduction

As part of the college’s ICT programme we offer pupils supervised access to the Internet. Due to the open nature of the Internet all pupils must obtain parental permission before being granted access to this facility. This agreement must be given by signing the permission letter and returning it to college.

The purpose of this information is to inform you of the opportunities the Internet offers for enhancing your education at St Damian’s and explain the guidelines we expect pupils to work by in order to ensure a safe and respectful learning environment in line with the College’s Catholic ethos.

Access to the Internet will enable you to explore thousands of libraries, databases of information and bulletin boards where information is exchanged. There will be the opportunity for exchanging messages with other internet users around the globe.

It is unfortunate that this open forum can be abused and it is the College’s responsibility to ensure that you are not exposed to material which is offensive, inaccurate, defamatory or illegal. While the College will continually strive to implement strategies that prevent this material entering college, you may find ways to access either an image and/or information that is inappropriate.

The Governing Body believes that access to this huge resource is vital to the progress of the education at St. Damian’s and that this benefit exceeds any possible disadvantages. Ultimately, parents and guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources. To that end the College supports and respects each family’s right to decide whether or not to apply for access.

During the College day, teachers and other supervising adults will guide you toward appropriate materials. Outside of college, families bear the same responsibility for such guidance as they exercise with information sources such as television, telephones, movies, radio and other media with the potential for receiving offensive material.

Please read this information carefully and do not hesitate to contact the College for further clarification, if required.

Information about the Internet

What is the Internet?

The Internet is a large number of computers all linked together around the world. It is possible to connect a single computer or a small group of computers to the Internet. It is possible, therefore, to access information stored on computers that are linked to the Internet.  The Internet was begun by Universities and Governments as a way of sharing information.  Originally this information was purely text and this limited the appeal of the Internet.

What is the World Wide Web?

To make the appearance of information available through the Internet more attractive it is now possible for special pages of information to contain text, colours, pictures, sound and video. These pages, collectively, make up what is known as the World Wide Web. One of the greatest aspects of the World Wide Web is that pages can carry links to take viewers straight to related pages on other computers. The idea of all these pages being linked together is what gives the idea of a web.

Moving from page to page, to another page is called ‘browsing’ or ‘surfing’ the net. A computer needs a program called a browser to be able to view these pages, the most common being Internet Explorer.

What is e-mail?

E-mail; is a shortening of the words electronic mail. This is a way of sending messages from one person to another via the Internet. Each Internet user has a unique email address that is often in the form of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What are the dangers of the Internet referred to in the media?

There is a great deal of material stored on the Internet that would be offensive to most people such as pornographic, racist, fascist or slanderous material. Education providers try to filter out known sites but these are many and always moving to new sites to get through filters. The only guaranteed way to ensure the internet is safe is to only give access to websites that have been previewed for safe content.

Action such as this would negate the idea of the Internet as a learning resource and we believe that a partnership approach where within the College, pupils are educated in the responsible use of the Internet and where parents/carers support this approach from home is the most acceptable and manageable system.

Guidelines for pupils

You are responsible for good behaviour when using the Internet, just as they are in a classroom. General College rules apply.

  • The Internet is provided for pupils to conduct research and communicate with others and permission from a parent of guardian is required. Access to the Internet is a privilege not a right and hence requires responsibility.
  • Each individual user of the Internet is responsible for his/her own behaviour. It is not acceptable for any pupil to use the inappropriate actions/behaviour of another as an excuse for his/her own.
  • Pupils have the right to expect privacy for their files and work from each other and hence passwords must be kept secure and never given out.
  • Members of staff have a right to view any pupil’s activity on the College network. This includes the checking of mailboxes on the College e-mail system, logging and checking of all Internet traffic and checking of files in pupils’ personal storage areas. Periodic checks will be made to ensure that there is no abuse of the system. 

The following are specifically NOT permitted:

  • Sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures
  • Using obscene language
  • Harassing, insulting or attacking others
  • Damaging computers, computer systems or networks
  • Violating copyright laws
  • Using the passwords of others.
  • Trespassing into the folders, work or files of others’.
  • Intentionally wasting resources
  • The use of proxy sites, scripts or any other method for attempting to circumvent the monitoring, blocking or security systems of the college.
  • Plagiarism.

Sanctions:

  • Violations to the above rules may result in appropriate sanctions being taken. These include, but are not limited to, pupils being prevented from accessing the Internet or banned from using computers altogether. These sanctions may be imposed indefinitely for repeated transgressions.
  • Additional disciplinary action may be added in line with the College’s Behaviour for Learning policy.
  • The school is aware of its obligation under laws such as the Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act, and should the need arise will not hesitate to involve the Police or any other relevant authorities.