Being safe online while LFH

With most of the school community only interacting online at the moment, VicSRC wanted to share some of the info that the DET has recommended to keep students safe while remote learning from home.  

How you should expect your teachers to communicate with you:  

  • Teachers should only be communicating with you through the channels that the school has approved. You should have received information about what these are and how they should be used. Compass notifications, daily WebEx conferences and Teams messaging are all a-okay. Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are personal and off limits.
  • One on one conversations should not happen, unless absolutely necessary for privacy or wellbeing reasons. 
  • Teachers should not be communicating with you after school hours unless unavoidable. They can send emails advising on the next day activities or similar but should not be expecting replies or starting conversations. This goes for students too; everyone deserves a break when school is done for the day! 
  • Teachers should be professional when they’re interacting with you, whether through video conference or via email, they should be using the kind of language you expect them to use in class.
  • Remember that your teachers aren’t counsellors. They are there to support your learning  If you are need help with how you are feeling about things or coping with school/life/anything, ask your teacher to put you in touch with the school mental health support or you can get in touch with these organisations Kids Helpline, eheadspace, Beyond Blue.
  • It is important that the expectations for behaviour online are clear for everyone. It could be decided by everyone in the class as a group agreement or the teacher may provide guidance. It’s important that everyone is respectful of this behaviour so everyone can learn and be safe online.  
  • Just like you, your teachers should be video conferencing from a shared space in their house (not their bedroom) and they should be dressed appropriately (unless it’s specifically pyjama dress up day). 

If you are worried about how your teacher is communicating with you, please talk to an adult you trust at your school or your school principal.  


How to have good privacy habits when learning from home. 

What does privacy mean? It is about keeping your identity safe which includes your name, age, email, home address and password. It also means keeping personal information safe such as how you feel, how healthy you are, what your family or home life is like and what you believe in.  

It’s important that you are aware of how the information you provide online can be seen or shared by other people so you can control your own privacy on the internet.  

Here are a few tips that can help you develop good habits to protect your privacy while learning form home 

  1. Make sure your passwords are hard to guess and keep them somewhere safe – not written down near your computer or device or saved somewhere that other people can access.  
  2. If you are using a device or computer that is shared with others, make sure you log out of your schools systems when you are done.  
  3. If you need to record information that is personal (like a wellbeing diary or information about your health) store it in a password protected folder if you can, or somewhere else that is safe from others. If you need to share this information with a teacher, make sure you are in a quiet space and ask others in your house for some space so you can do this without being disturbed.  
  4. Schools have chosen the platforms they are using based on their ability to protect privacy so make sure you follow the directions closely in setting them up. 
  5. Be respectful of guidance from your school so that everyone can be safe using the recommended programsfor example, they may ask everyone to have videos off when entering a video conference or may not allow a video conference to start before the teacher arrives.  
  6. Also, try to do video conferences in a shared space rather than a private space (such as your bedroom). This helps everyone to remember that you’re not in a social chat but in learning mode 
  7. When online, ensure that any links you click on are genuine. ‘Phishing’ is when someone sends you a link that looks ok but is actually sending you somewhere dangerous or inappropriate. These links may look like they come from your school, a software provider, the bank, the government or from apps you‘re using. More tips can be found on the ScamWatch website or from the eSafety Commissioner website. 
  8. If you’re not sure about the software you’re downloading and the software asks you for personal information other than school email you should read their privacy policy, or check with your school’s IT department, who should have read it before recommending or providing the software. 
  9. Make sure your computer or device has anti-virus software installed and that it’s up to date. If you’re not sure, ask your school for advice.  
  10. Make sure you download and install any computer or app updates. Updates fix security issues and if you are not up to date, you are at risk 
  11. If someone contacts you when you haven’t requested it, don’t install any software or go to any websites they ask you toScammers can sometimes pose as representatives of companies to gain access to your device. Again, if you’re not sure, contact your school to ask for advice.