I know that you are being bombarded with back to school emails – Lots of different offers to tempt you. Fortunately, our Gooseberry Alerts are free, so no need to plead with you to sign up. 😊
Personal data is such a big topic. We have all had our fair share of emails from companies pleading with us to allow them to email us. The funny bit is that we all get very involved with the GDPR concept, but we do not think twice about the amount of information we share on social media. Sometimes I want to scream at some of my friends who are always copying and pasting status, filling in quizzes and letting the world know that they are off on holiday. You might think that isn’t personal data, but it is. It’s personal to you. Any information you give on any platform allows the social media company access to share unless you tell it not to do so.
I learnt the other day that if you have a Gmail account, the Google employees can read your PERSONAL emails, if you have connected your account to third party apps. Also, Google say they are not tracking your location but apparently if you have an Android phone or have google apps (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44699263) on your iPhone, turning off “location history” (which most of would think would do the trick) only stops some of the tracking. It is time to act and protest. The internet is not well legislated and the large tech companies are basically cashing in.
We all need to be a little more vigilant with our data. I now use something called a VPN, a virtual private network. It cost me £30 for 3 years. The VPN encrypts my messages and enables me to use unsecured public Wi-Fi without taking the risk of my communications being intercepted or hacked. I am always logging into public Wi-Fi areas, when I am on the train, in hotels or a coffee shop. It is almost second nature now, that when you visit a location, the first thing is to find the Wi-Fi key but these public Wi-Fi connections are very vulnerable and, unless you use a VPN, you should restrict your activity on them to web-browsing and not access any accounts and definitely don’t make online payments.
With the new school year beginning, a quick reminder that our Gooseberry Parent App is free of charge to all parents. All they need to do is register via our website. All they need to give us is their email and we do not pass on their data to anyone else.
Finally, I need your support. Are you a teacher, parent or someone that works in the education technology industry? We all have the right to a safe and secure life online, but we should be aware that personal information is big business! As adults, we are equipped to manage our personal information online, but children need better protection. The Age Appropriate Design Code is under consultation. It seeks to minimise the collection of children’s data by amount, kind and spread. It supports a child’s right to retract, to correct or to challenge data held about them. We are asking Gooseberry Planet supporters to submit to the Information Commissioner’s call for evidence.
Team Gooseberry have been working hard this summer and added more workshops to our Gooseberry Guru. Facebook and WhatsApp are now in there with some videos on how to change privacy. These are also available to Parents via Gooseberry Parent. This is free of charge to parents.
This month’s Gooseberry Alert focusses on ‘Personal Information’ – a great topic to share with your parents. If you haven’t registered for this service already, please do. It is free of charge – just click here and register.
Department for Education
KCSIE September 2018 takes effect this month. This will replace the September 2017 version, so make sure all of your policies reflect this. Click here and look at the changes that have been made.
Best wishes for a happy, productive and safe new term.