Half of young people online suffer abuse and bullying

Almost half of young people surveyed have experienced threatening, intimidating or nasty messages online. 
And of these, 14% said they had been a victim of cyber bullying, according to a study YoungMinds and The Children's Society.
Many young people said their personal information had been shared publicly, they had been excluded from conversations or groups online or received persistent messages from someone after asking them to stop.

Read more about young people and online bullying

FlashMeeting Retirement Of Service

E2BN will no longer be supporting or offering the Flashmeeting Video Conferencing Service due to increasing technological issues with the platform. We have, therefore, decided to end all support for Flashmeeting with immediate effect.

E2BN provided this safe and reliable VC service to schools and educational establishments around the World for over 15 years. We were proud and excited to offer this straightforward solution at a time when VC usually required schools to purchase high-end equipment. However, technology moves on and there are now many, often free, platforms that make video conferencing an everyday possibility in the classroom. 

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the termination of the service.



Free teaching resource - Using your mobile safely

"Myfirstmobile" is a programme of study derived from a Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board  Digital Citizen Award project and is designed for teachers to equip pupils with basic skills to help them to make the correct choices whilst using the internet.

It starts with a 5 minute animated film created by students from The Creative and Media Studio School which is all about a boy receiving his first mobile phone on his tenth birthday. The video starts at his birthday party and takes viewers through a number of challenging issues about his ownership and safe use of his new phone.

What follows are a number of session plans on different internet related subjects taking the child through their online learning experience.

Once all sessions have been completed, children are encouraged to take the quiz to test their online safety knowledge and skills.

On successful completion of the programme all participants will be able to obtain a certificate of their achievement.

The programme is best delivered over several sessions. It has been put together by a collaboration of senior teachers and online safety professionals addressing a number of key elements covered in the PSHE curriculum.

It was funded by the local PCC through their money reclaimed from criminal activity. It is open to any school, free to use and they can access the resources at http://www.myfirstmobilephone.org.uk/ 

WannaCry Ransomware and Schools

With the NHS still reeling from arguably the biggest ever ransomware attack, it is perhaps a good time for schools to consider their cybers-security arrangements. Back in January, I wrote a blog post about a particular way in which some schools had been targetted. You can see the original post here.  The virus involved in the January examples may or may not have been the same WannaCry virus that is currently plaguing the NHS. The mechanism for introducing the virus into the NHS computer system may well have been different from that described in the January article. But the does not matter! What does matter is that ransomware viruses are preventable and that at your school you start taking appropriate measures to protect your systems and data.

There are two strands to preventing ransomware attacks on your data: technical and human.

The technical strand involves keeping your windows software up to date.You don't have to move to the latest Windows version as soon as it is released but continuing to run a version that is no longer supported is dangerous.  It's dangerous because Microsoft stops providing patches and updates for its older operating systems. Microsoft stopped supporting WinXP and Vista three and two years ago respectively. So if you are still running either of these operating systems you should be very worried and be looking at upgrading your OS!

If your OS is still being supported (Win 7, Win8, Win 10) your machine should be receiving regular automated updates. These automated updates are your best line of defence against ransomware. Ransomware is designed to exploit vulnerabilities in your operating system. Windows updates remove these vulnerabilities by applying 'patches' or fixes to the software. But it is possible to turn updates off. Sometimes people do this because updates take up disc space and are often believed to slow the machine down. If your machine's spec is high enough for the OS there shouldn't be a problem wit the updates. And remember, a slightly slower machine that you can access your data on is better than a fast machine that has trashed all your files! Make sure that your machine is receiving automated updates!

If your PC or laptop's OS doesn't have the latest fixes it is vulnerable to all sorts of viruses and malware attacks but it has to get infected. The WannaCry ransomware virus will have reached individual machines on the NHS network via one of a number of possible routes: transferred from an external drive (memory stick, external hard drive), downloaded from a website or activated by some unsuspecting person clicking the infected link in an email. 

Now if you never connect to the internet (not even for email or the iPlayer), if your machine is not part of a network,  and you never plug in any form of external media (memory sticks, external drives etc) you can stop worrying! A truly isolated machine is absolutely safe from viruses. But these days we are rarely offline let alone unconnected. We send and receive files via email, we open emails and follow links, we download free apps, music and videos all of the time.

So all the cybercriminal needs to do is to send us an email with a link to a virus or disguise the virus in a seemingly harmless file or software download. As described in the January article, sometimes they'll go the extra mile to ensure that we accept their download or open the email.

Ransomware attacks rely heavily on human behaviour. Someone needs to click a malicious link or open a malicious attachment to trigger the attack. So first and foremost, be vigilant. Learn to spot phising emails and potential ransomware attacks.

  • Is the email from a known sender?
  • Are you expecting the email/attachment?
  • Is the email address suspicious? i.e. from: Kathy Smith<KS3456864927t.com>
  • If you are asked to click a link again does the URL look suspicious? i.e. URL www.lloydsbank/45678tyr.com
  • Are there grammar or punctuation errors that you wouldn't expect?
  • Test the link at https://global.sitesafety.trendmicro.com/ 

And make sure that everyone who uses you machines knows this stuff! Raise it at your next staff meeting, talk to admin and other non-teaching staff, check that your OS is supported and regularly updated. Make sure that pupils are aware too - it will help protect your system and help to keep them safe from potential ransomware attacks at home.

 National Cyber Security Centre website has general advice on protecting your organisation from ransomware and the latest guidance on the WannaCry ransomware 


Governing Bodies - Who's Responsible for Online Safety?

Five years ago online safety was viewed as being all about computers and therefore was tacked on to the ICT/Computing lead’s role. In 2012 Ofsted included e-safety in its section 5 criteria. In September 2016 DfE’s statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and Ofsted subsequence update to its guidance for inspectors ‘Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills’ firmly positioned online safety within Safeguarding. 

This repositioning of online safety has had a profound impact on how online safety needs to be managed in schools. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), the senior leadership team and Governors are now integral to the implementation of online safety and carry ultimate responsibility for its delivery. Governing bodies are now required to approve and review the effectiveness of online safety policies and practise. Together with the SLT and DSL, they have shared responsibility for how online safety is managed and implemented, for the creation of a positive safeguarding culture and ethos and for ensuring that all staff are adequately trained in all aspects of safeguarding including online safety.
Online Safety responsibilities for Governors:

• Manage, review, promote and evaluate adherence to online safety policies
• Ensure that there are mechanisms to support pupils, staff and parents facing online safety issues
• Ensure that the DSL is trained to support staff and pupils and to work with other agencies
• Ensure that all staff receive relevant training that is regularly refreshed
• Educate parents and the wider school community

The UKCCIS Education Group has developed guidance for school governors to help governing boards support their school leaders to keep children safe online. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/562876/Guidance_for_School_Governors_-_Question_list.pdf
This document is non-statutory and should be read in conjunction with DfE’s statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’
How E2BN help
E2BN has a long history of providing online safety training and advice to schools. In addition to sessions for school staff and parents, E2BN also offers Online Safety sessions for Governors.

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