digital monitoring during COVID-19

How threat detection technology can help you to spot vulnerable key worker children throughout COVID-19

If you have key worker students in your school, you’ll no doubt be concerned for their wellbeing. Away from their peers and afraid for their parents’ safety, they’re likely to feel anxious or fearful and be in need of extra support.

School staff across the UK will be trying as best they can to keep a close eye on their keyworker students. But with everything else going on, it’s a challenging task to say the least.

Added to this is the alarming rise in online predatory behavior as pedophiles seek to exploit frightened children during this time.

Europol, the European Police Agency, believe child abusers are taking full advantage and ”welcoming opportunities to engage with children” in online forums and boards. Last week the National Crime Agency (NCA) Investigators say they have identified offenders discussing opportunities to abuse children during the crisis in chats online.

What can be done?

Threat detection technology acts as an extra pair of eyes and ears for school staff, finding and alerting them to children at risk – children who may otherwise go unnoticed.

Scanning technology, working alongside human moderators, flags children at risk of harm suggested by their online activities, search behavior or use of apps – even whilst offline.

Serious risks, such as cybersexual activity; bullying; mental health issues; substance abuse; gang activity; exploitation and abuse; self-harm, grooming and radicalization can be picked up in real-time if a student has used their keyboard to view content, message someone, look for information, type out their feelings – even if they delete it immediately, or never press ‘send’.

Human moderators separate genuine risk from false positives enabling school’s to respond quickly and appropriately. The quicker the intervention the better the outcome. In 2019 Smoothwall MSignal found a student facing a serious risk to their health or life every 3 minutes. That’s 5009 children who could otherwise have been overlooked.

With new threats emerging during this uncertain time and students facing all kinds of added stress factors, threat prevention technology is becoming a crucial part of a school’s digital safety strategy. It’s no exaggeration to say that the safety and even lives of students could depend on it.

Further reading

For further reading on threat detection technology, download our whitepaper.

Book a walk-through

You can also book an online walk-through of Smoothwall Signal. Simply decide a date and time of your choosing, invite any colleagues along too and a Smoothwall expert will explain how it works, how other schools are using it and answer any questions you might have.

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