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Developing Online Safety Knowledge in Partnership with Parents and Schools

Parents, Schools and the Digital Divide – Developing Online Safety Knowledge in Partnership with Parents and Schools, Professor Andy Phippen, Professor of Social, Responsibility in IT, Plymouth University. July 2013

“Technology and the online world undoubtedly play a large part in the majority of young people’s lives. It is rare to encounter young people who do not use the Internet in some part of their lives – and for many, all aspects have an online element! For the most part the opportunities afforded by the online world are exciting and positive – children can interact with friends, communicate with family, observe things happening all over the world and access information in ways that were impossible even ten years ago. However, the Internet is not without its risks and while the media and current UK Government policy may focus on specific online safety issues such as grooming and inappropriate content, the landscape which parents and young people face is broad and ever-changing. In such environments, it is unsurprising that sometimes parents feel like they are losing the battle to ensure their children are safe online, while allowing them to benefit from all the positive things this world brings. In this paper we reflect on research undertaken by AVG to better understand parents’ concerns, responsibilities and knowledge related to online safety, and also propose a new approach that might help parents and schools work together for a more effective, coherent path to online safety awareness.”

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