As teachers and educational professionals we are all aware of safeguarding. It is a word we come into contact with a lot in the academic world. We hear it daily in relation to issues such as bullying, neglect and physical abuse. However, it is vital that our familiarity with this word does not mean that we lose focus on the horrifying reasons safeguarding procedures are in place.

The Internet, despite all of its benefits, can be a medium which puts young people in mental and physical danger, be it at their own hand or the hands of others. With the increase in the popularity of live streaming, reports of inappropriate or sexualised content have grown. Live streaming platforms give outsiders a real-time view into the lives and actions of children. Outsiders are able to view that child, unsupervised, in a completely unedited moment leaving little or no incriminating data behind. One of the dangers of this is that impressionable youths may be asked to reveal more of themselves than is safe whether that be physically or in the form of personal information.

As educational professionals, it is important that we understand current trends which can expose young people to harm and take the correct measures to shield them from predators and also actions they may regret, both of which can have devastating consequences on a child’s mental or physical wellbeing.

At JSPC we are specialists in safeguarding young people from the dangers the online world can present. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you protect your students from issues such as the above.

Some of the dangers of live streaming:

• Children can be viewed and followed by adults.

• People can comment when people are broadcasting, often these comments are unkind or attempting to find out information about a child, such as where they live and whether they are home alone.

• The rise of popularity in smart phones and tablets mean that children can broadcast from their bedroom without supervision and without parental knowledge.