Online risks obstructing safe internet access for students
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The purpose of this paper is to provide an overall insight into the factors which undermine safe internet access for students. Safer internet access for students is an issue raised during recent years as the web becomes increasingly more accessible to children. However, recent research studies and initiatives demonstrated a number of potential online risks for students. To be able to protect children from potentially hazardous content it is first necessary to have a good understanding of the existing online threats. Design-methodology-approach - Initially, prior works on online safety problems for children are reviewed and a list of online risks is assembled based on the previous studies and on information gathered from web sites dedicated to safer internet access. Then, based on this listing, an access log of unsupervised internet access of high school students is analyzed to understand which of these risks can be identified. Findings - The review of previous works on the topic of safer internet access produces a list of diverse problems for unsupervised internet access for children. The results of the log files evaluation show that several of the identified online risks existed in the students' visited sites and that the students are able to bypass the applied restrictions to visit their preferred sites. Originality-value - The list of online risks can be used by researchers, teachers, parents, educational technologists, web designers, school administrators and libraries to obtain a clearer view of the internet safety issues. Further, this list could be used for directing future research projects on the social consequences of internet usage for children.
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