"Safety and security doesn't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear." -Nelson Mandela
With the world continually going from bad to worse, it seems almost impossible to find a place of solace or feel 100% safe. Especially recently with the threat of COVID-19, it seems that every time we leave the house, we feel a sort of uneasiness and lack of safety.
Is that all? Is there a magic wand that will miraculously make us all feel safe? Unfortunately not. Due to the rapid developments of technology, which is mostly positive, the cyber world has gone out of control spreading false facts and creating platforms where harmful people do terrible things that can be seen by the eyes of everyone including young and children.
The majority of tech companies are doing their absolute best to tame the beast that is the internet. Yet, cyber safety is a severe concern for parents who have children using the internet.
Nonetheless, is it possible for your children to be shielded from disgusting things and harmful people to enjoy relative safety on the internet? Thankfully, yes. And, a secure internet experience is now necessary more than ever due to many school classes being shifted online for safety measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Therefore, without further ado, in today's article, we shall focus on what parents should know about letting their children undergo educational lessons through Skype and what are some of the ways to guarantee safety on the internet on all domains.
The Potential Safety Concerns of Online Lessons Via Skype
In recent years there has been much debate about the wisdom of online tutoring through different video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Google Meet, and, of course, Skype. We cannot fail to mention the benefits of Skype since it is a beautiful tool that boasts excellent pros such as the fact that it's cost-effective, helps people reconnect, and can be used in various sector.
Nevertheless, although it's a great tool, I wonder how many people – young students, their parents, and tutors alike – have given much thought to the range of potential risks that arise when online contact is unrecorded.
What are the potential risks of letting young students use Skype unsupervised?
Also, why not take a look at our popular article that outlines, online tutoring DBS checks and child safety?
Online Sexual Abuse
In the sick and twisted world that we live in, there is the unfortunate and profoundly saddening fact that people of all ages, races, and genders are sexually abused. And, it is essential to state that in recent years sexual predators are using the internet to prey on young ones through innocent online resources that would never have previously been considered dangerous.
According to recent facts, over the past two years, 184 children and young people from the UK reported being victims of online sexual blackmail; and these are only the cases that were reported. We can only shudder at the number of issues that go unreported!
Of course, the majority of cases that involve contact between children or pre-teens with adult sexual predators have originated on social networks or in chat rooms with people of a mature age posing to be a young person that is desiring of your friendship. Nonetheless, the Child Exploitation On-Line Protection Centre (CEOP) is warning of a rise in undesired contact between children and threatening adults.
And, although there is much more aware of potential sexual abuse in present-day than there ever was before, sexual predators still exist, and no doubt are very keen on opportunities that afford unrecorded contact with children.
Whilst most people are entirely genuine and safe when conducting private tutoring via Skype, there are some "tutors" with ill intentions that prefer using Skype since it is unrecorded and they do not have to report back to a trusted company.
And, imagine a child that is desperate to improve their academic performance at any at cost and perhaps feels the pressure to perform and meet the expectations of parents or classroom teachers. Wouldn't a sexual offender recognise that vulnerability and try to exploit the situation?
My stomach is churning at the mere thought a youngster with sincere intentions being caught up with sinister "educator" who uses their qualifications to take advantage of the weak!
But, what can be done to prevent any suspicious behaviour from online sexual predators? Continue reading to find out more information in the following subheading.
You can stay safe by adhering strictly to the dictates of our best practice guide on online tutoring.
How to Keep the Virtual Classroom Safe for Children
Before addressing ways to keep the virtual classroom safe and free from any potential dangers, we want to claim that this article was not written to scare parents from letting their children using the internet or Skype to further their education with a private tutor. But, instead of as a warning and eye-opening lesson to equip both parents and children with the necessary tools to practice cyber safety at all times.
Now, back to focusing on ways to ensure that one-on-one learning with a private tutor is always secure! The following is a brief list of suggestions that parents can implement to ensure child safety:
- Warn Your Child: young children, preteens, and teenagers need to be forewarned about the dangers that can be faced when learning academic information with a stranger. You are not a paranoid parent when you sit down your children and let them know of potential problems encountered when using the internet and how they can avoid them. You might be surprised at how well young ones respond to cyber safety and make efforts to protect themselves.
- Use a Platform That Records Lessons: we greatly recommend using a platform that records all lessons and, thankfully, Skype was enabled users to record meetings on a mobile device or PC. Another highly recommended platform that records lessons is Zoom.
- Sit Near Your Child During Classes: as an online teacher, I've seen parents sit near their young child when they have a scheduled class with me, and I do not take offence since I recognise that they are being prudent and trying to protect their child from harm. Therefore, if you are a parent who is a little apprehensive about letting your child learn new concepts remotely, sit near your child and listen to what is being said. Don't feel shy or embarrassed since you have every right to do so!
- Get to Know the Tutor: want to make sure that your child is in the best hands? Before letting your young ones meet their future tutor, conduct a vetting process to get to know the instructor and determine if you feel comfortable having them meet your son or daughter.
- Use a Trusted Tutoring Website: while you might find a fantastic tutor searching classified adds, we remarkably suggest consulting with a tutoring website that boasts excellent reviews from Trustpilot and other review agencies. Such as? Superprof is the best tutoring website on the planet!
It is essential to state that the previously mentioned suggestions should be taken in practice since they work to make everyone feel calm and safe.
Remember, recording the lessons keeps everyone safe and on their best behaviour since children deserve the best childhood ever!
Are you a tutor? Learn more about a do it yourself guide for online tutoring.
The Superprof Guarantee
While there are plenty of online tutoring services connecting passionate students with qualified instructors that specialise in a wide variety of topics, the absolute best website that deserves all recognition is Superprof!
With professional tutors of all ages and races available to conduct classes, whether online or in-person, Superprof has gained a reputation for being one of the most highly recommended and safe tutoring communities on the planet. Not only are classes affordable and engaging, but each tutor prides themself on establishing a secure environment that quickly rejects all types of suspicious behaviour.
Instructors on Superprof must be approved by customer service, and only those with a stellar reputation of behaviour are allowed on.
Safety is our main priority, especially for young ones, on Superprof so that all can thrive in an online surrounding of security and tranquillity. So, parents and children avoid all types of situations that could cause harm.
In conclusion, we sincerely hope that our article helped raise awareness for all parties involved. Remember to do your research, and you'll be fine!
Curious about some of the information provided? Some statements of expertise were supplied by Tony Domaille, who has had over 30 years of experience as a police officer and has conducted extensive research in the field of child protection.
Please read our article on becoming an effective tutor.