Safer Internet Day 2012: Schools and (ISC)2 Professionals Work Together to Educate Children

Schools across the United Kingdom today marked Safer Internet Day 2012 to tackle uninhibited online attitudes that leave children increasingly vulnerable to cyber bullying, abusive gamers, identity theft and malicious threats. 19 (ISC)2 Safe and Secure Online volunteers are out in force today, visiting children and parents in schools across the UK, including South Wales, Kent, Cumbria, Worcester and Teesside. More than 4,000 children will be taking part.

 As part of their effort, volunteers survey children and encourage discussion of both risks and behavioural concerns. For example, over 1,500 10-12 year olds in the London area recently revealed that 65%  use the internet every day, with half being online after 10 pm on school nights. The survey confirms widespread flouting of age limits, with 63% of the 10 to 12 year olds using the social networking site Facebook, despite the requirement to be at least 13 years of age to join. Further, 33% of children admit to participating in online gaming every day, with 70% playing 18 year old-rated games. A significant number are putting themselves in physical danger, as 10% admitted they have met an online friend in person, with 28% going to meet the friend on their own.

 The (ISC)2 Safe and Secure programme is vitally important to us,” says Stuart Kerner, assistant vice principal, Bexleyheath Academy, in Kent. “Just like sex and relationships education, drugs education and anti-smoking education, this programme informs young people of common dangers they may face. It is important that we do everything we can to educate children and parents alike on the necessary safeguards required in the online world.”

 Also commenting on the importance of Safer Internet Day, David Potts, assistant principal, Stourport High School and VIth Form Centre in Worcestershire says, “As the Internet and social networking become increasingly powerful influences upon the lives of young people, it is important to ensure that they know how to protect themselves from potential dangers. Safer Internet Day reinforces this issue in a proactive way by providing an environment to discuss the dangers of Internet use with an expert and the strategies that they can use to stay safe. We value the contribution that Safer Internet Day and (ISC)2 make to ensure the safety of students in our care.”

The (ISC)2 Safe and Secure Online programme is a global initiative designed to teach children from the age of seven how to protect themselves and their online world. The programme was developed with the support of Childnet International, one of three charitable organizations who work in partnership to manage The UK Safer Internet Centre,, and co-ordinate the array of activities across the UK for Safer Internet Day 2012. (ISC)2 is supporting Safer Internet Day with interactive sessions for children and parents across the UK, highlighting not just the risks, but the behavioural concerns that are leading to trouble.

 The (ISC)2 Safe and Secure Online program is available to schools, community and youth groups year-round. It is managed by the charitable arm of (ISC)2 - The (ISC)2 Foundation - created to help the 80,000 professionally certified (ISC)2 members make the cyber world a safer place through education and awareness in the community. Volunteer professionals, responsible for information security in banking, retail, telecommunications and other sectors, are equipped to share their first-hand knowledge in face-to-face sessions that make the subject come alive for children and their parents.

For more information or to organize a session visit:

Our editor Eleanor Dallaway attended the Safe and Secure sessions for both students and their parents at Bexleyheath Academy today. The write-up from these sessions will be available on her blog shortly.

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