eCadets: Educating the Digital Generation

Associate sponsor of the Educate Awards, eCadets, empowers and supports children online to help make the internet a safer place for their whole school community.

In this blog, eCadets officer Nicole Ponsford, shares her tips for educating the digital generation.

Awareness of online dangers and the need for security has never been more crucial. Some areas of the internet are a bit like a Pinocchio’s ‘Pleasure Island’ amusement park – open 24/7, full of treats and where you can be as naughty as you like. Sadly the consequences of online recklessness are seen in the national headlines every day, albeit it unsafe online communities, anonymous threats or hacked children’s apps.

With over 800 social media platforms, no-one can be an expert in all the new apps available to download. And, on a lighter note, there really is a heap of great stuff to be found online.

So what can we do to support the next generation? We suggest that there are ‘codes’ that you use as a user of all things online, whatever age you are, whichever app or platform you are using. There are several easy things you can do NOW to keep you and yours safe, and we would like to share these with you.

1. Use Passphrases, Not Passwords.

Put 3 or 4 random words together and update regularly.

2. Check Mate

Regularly check your privacy settings in your setting. This might be on your digital television or your smart devices, or it might be part of what access external companies have to in-app settings.

3. Google Yourself

When you are a parent, student or teacher it can be helpful to see what is out there on you. For young people looking at future careers, have a look to see what your employer will find out about you – was that last image helpful to your ‘future self’ – and consider what you can do to improve it!

At eCadets, our team of award winning legal experts and educators, train students to advise their peers upon how to be safe online – at home and at school. Challenges set for the eCadets look at short term issues like gaming and social media usage, but also extend to longer term concerns such as digital employability and the consequences of cyber-bullying.

If you would like more online safety tips or are interested in next generation safety, please contact us at eCadets for more information.