VPN Technology for 'Child Safe' Internet

How does VPN technology work and how can it protect young people?

VPN technology is a configuration available in all new mobile phones, laptops. PCs and even Wi-Fi routers that enables forwarding all Internet traffic first to a remote server called ‘VPN Server’.

This technology is usually used by Enterprises to let their employees connect to their corporate servers securely and also enables a way for them to monitor everything from a single VPN server.

Most of today's children have the ability via their device to access any network which provides free access to the world wide web. This presents a whole host of risks and demonstrates how vulnerable today's children can actually be when given the opportunity to open many different doors to the internet without any protection.

Friendly WiFi Internet Flow

Problems accessing the Internet without a VPN

The first problem is that it is the wi-fi router which assigns you the public IP address or in other words publishes your ‘location’. Every single entity in the path of communications knows your almost exact location. You can check this by navigating to any site like http://ipstack.com and see the amount of detail available to all third party websites and all networks in between.

Secondly, at every stage, the entities know which websites and applications you are accessing. If communications are unencrypted, they can also read it, watch it, listen to it, whatever the case may be. They can also keep a log of the activity and apply ‘policies’ as well. Common policies are to block some applications like some games or torrents or WhatsApp / Skype calling etc.

Internet access with VPN

When you connect VPN, it establishes a secure tunnel between you and the VPN servers. Nobody in between sees which websites or applications are being accessed. You are issued your public IP address by the VPN server instead of your wi-fi router.

Benefits of Internet access via a VPN include:

  • Hiding your location
  • Protection from snooping or un-trustworthy wifi hotspots
  • Stopping false alarms in online banking and other applications
  • Protection from eavesdroppers
  • Child protection features

    If you are interested in finding out more about VPN, Friendly WiFi Partners ‘SafeLabs’ have created a ‘Child Safe’ simple to use method allowing families to connect safely to the internet. They have launched a ‘Child Safe’ VPN service, which is easily applied to any device (PC, Laptop, mobile or tablet) giving parents and their children peace of mind that when browsing the internet they are protected from accessing inappropriate material. Read more.

    Friendly WiFi VPN Tunnel

  • Written by Friendly WiFi on May 23, 2019 13:47

    Mental Health Awareness Week - Social Media Causes Body Image Concerns

    Millions of teenagers worry about body image and identify social media as a key cause – new survey by the Mental Health Foundation

    Mental Health Awareness Week 2019Millions of teenagers in Britain worry about their body image according to a new British survey published by the Mental Health Foundation.

    The online survey of British teenagers aged 13 to 19 was commissioned as part of Mental Health Awareness Week which this year has the theme of body image.

    It found that almost one third (31 per cent) of teenagers felt ashamed in relation to their body image.

    Four in ten teenagers (40 per cent) said images on social media had caused them to worry about body image.

    More than a third of British teenagers (35 per cent) had stopped eating at some point or restricted their diets as a result of worrying about their body image.

    Four in ten teenagers (40 per cent) said that things their friends have said have made them worry about their body image.

    Thirty five per cent of teenagers worried in relation to their body image often or every day, and 37 per cent of teenagers felt upset and ashamed in relation to their body image.

    Jane Caro, Programme Lead for Families, Children and Young People at the Mental Health Foundation said: “Our survey has shown that millions of young people in Britain are worrying about their body image. Worries about body image can lead to mental health problems and in some instances are linked to self-harm and suicidal thoughts and feelings.

    “It is also clear from our survey that teenagers are identifying images on social media as a key factor that makes them worry about their body image. Conversations with their friends also have a major role in causing young people to worry.”

    The Foundation report “Body Image: How we think and feel about our bodies” highlights the range of commercial and advertising pressures on body image which are contributing to mental health problems for millions of young people and calls for immediate action across all aspects of society to safeguard the health of teenagers as they grow up.

    Jane said “Action starts in our families and homes with how we talk about our bodies and about eating, but we also need more regulation of advertising promoting idealised and unattainable body images. Social media companies should urgently up their game in taking practical steps to ensure that the content they promote does not exacerbate body image concerns.”

    A selection of resources to help support schools with mental well-being are available as part of our Safeguarding Essentials membership package. Resources include classroom materials, parent guide, school checklist and policy and a staff training course. Find out more

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on May 16, 2019 10:02

    Have your say: Social Media and Young People

    Is social media a dangerous risk to young people or a powerful support network? Have your say

    Social IconsIn the last few days, there have been a number of stories reported in the press - with conflicting messages about the impact of social media use on the lives of young people.

    The latest round of news began with an announcement from the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri. Facebook-owned Instagram is going to test hiding "like" counts as a way to make "a less pressurized environment" on the app. This feature comes as part of efforts at Instagram to combat online bullying which is said to plague younger users of the platform.

    Social media firms have been under increased pressure from the government to tackle the risks posed online, and this was supported by an announcement by Candida Reece, of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), who this week tabled a motion at the union’s annual conference committing it to a campaign for the introduction of a statutory duty of care to protect children from online harms and toughen age verification checks. She added that social media firms should face a levy to pay schools for teaching children traumatised online.

    However, in a small study of participants aged 11 to 18, it would seem that teenagers do not necessarily perceive potential risks on social media as such. On the matter of online abuse, it was reported that "many children doubted there would be any serious consequences for social media abusers. The report suggested that teenagers might not report online abuse because they often don't see it as a problem"

    At the same time, TalkTalk's Teenage Loneliness and Technology Report revealed that half of teenagers believe that social media and the internet makes them feel less lonely. Conversely, just a few days later, results from a study of 12,000 UK adolescents revealed that the use of social media had little effect on the well-being and life satisfaction of teenagers.

    Have your say

    Have you had experience of social media being a positive or negative influence in your school? Do you agree that it can be a source of support for young people? How do you teach your pupils to avoid the potential risks associated with social media? Let us know your thoughts and suggestions using the comments section below.

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on May 09, 2019 10:35

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