Category: News

Why teaching computer ethics is important

School staff, together with parents, teach children about the world we live in. That includes the time we spend online and the online activities we engage in. Young people mimic the adults they observe, whether they show positive or negative behaviours. Valuable life lessons about sharing, following the rules, and showing empathy, encourage positive behaviours in the children in our care.

It can be all too easy to get wrapped up in the teaching and learning of new skills, that we forget that the online world has it’s very own ‘netiquette’, a term coined to describe the rules of appropriate behaviour for people online.

Schools teach PHSE, cultural and spiritual values and ultimately, ethics. Teaching computing skills is only part of the curriculum. Teaching children and young people to respect privacy, the rights and freedoms of others and the digital ‘property’ of others, is as important as enabling them to use, access and secure their online world and digital reputation. As young people grow to adulthood, the ethics they learn whilst in our care, will help secure our collective digital futures, reduce the likelihood of them taking a path into cybercrime, and use their values to make their decisions.

Teaching the ten ‘commandments’ of computer ethics is a great place to start:

  1. Do not use a computer to cause harm to others.

    If it is wrong to harm or destroy other people’s property in real life, then it is wrong to harm or destroy their computer files. Generating and consciously spreading viruses is incredibly damaging and causes significant disruption to others.

  2. Do not share information that isn’t yours to share.

    Ask before posting any pictures online which include others and don’t share details about others online without their express permission.

  3. Do not look around other people’s files or messages.

    Reading other people’s emails or private messages is the same as stealing paper documents. If you find you have access, be supportive and lock the device.

  4. Do not use a computer to steal.

    Identity theft, fraud and hacking are illegal. Not knowing the victim, or attempting to steal from a company who it ‘won’t matter to’, is still very wrong.

  5. Do not use a computer to spread lies or mis-information

    Spreading false information about people or events is wrong. Mis-information is common on social media and users shouldn’t share information unless they can verify it as accurate.

  6. Do not use other peoples devices without permission.

    Devices have become part of our identity due to the amount of information about us they contain. Users should only use devices they are authorised to and they should follow any acceptable use agreements.

  7. Do not log into a computer using another person’s ID or password.

    Hacking a system to bypass the authorisation is against the law.

  8. Do not copy other people’s work.

    Intellectual property is a form of ownership and is protected by copyright laws. This includes copying large portions of information from internet websites as part of ‘research’. Always give appropriate credit and reference the original author.

  9. Think about the consequences of what you write or message.

    When online, it is easy to behave in a way that is inappropriate. This includes bullying, sharing images without consent or illegal downloading. Think first.

  10. Show consideration and respect for others.

    Just because you can’t see the people you are interacting with does not mean you can be rude to them.

When using a computer, all users should act with respect and treat others as they would want to be treated. If you are concerned about a young persons computer use, especially if they may be at risk of committing offences under the law, you can make a referral to Cyber choices,

The Cyber Choices programme, co-ordinated by the National Crime Agency, was created to help people make informed choices and to use their cyber skills in a legal way.

The aims of the programme are to:

*                   Explain the difference between legal and illegal cyber activity
*                   Encourage individuals to make informed choices in their use of technology
*                   Increase awareness of the Computer Misuse Act 1990
*                   Promote positive, legal cyber opportunities

Cyber Choices: Helping you choose the right and legal path – National Crime Agency


12 Days of Cyber Christmas

Education Data Hub (EDH) wishes you a safe and happy Cyber Christmas.

For the resources mentioned in our 12 days, check out our website here


12 Days of Cyber Christmas 1

Recent ‘CYBER ON A SHOESTRING’ event makes a big impression

Derbyshire County Council’s Cyber Support Service @ Education Data Hub held their first national virtual event ‘Cyber on a Shoestring’ on December 7th 2021, bringing together experts on cyber security and online safety and tailored specifically to the education sector.

The whole-day event was started with an inspiring speech by Councillor Alex Dale who, as Cabinet Member for Education, reminded us all of the effects of the pandemic on our young children, and, in this ever-increasing digital world, how important it is that we are all aware of the need for cyber security and online safety, not just in schools, but within the home too.  This became apparent, in the many speakers that followed as expert after expert delivered consistent messages and signposted those who attended to a host of free help and resources that are already out there and readily available for nurseries, schools, colleges, and indeed parents to access.

The day featured 18 speakers, ranging from the Department for Education, through to crisis response teams, a children’s author, and most everything in between. They represented the broad spectrum that is cyber security and online safety for the education sector, which really made for a stand-out event.

Almost 900 education settings were reached during the day, which demonstrated just how much events like these are required in the ever changing digital world our children find themselves growing up in.  The feedback from those who attended, and indeed the speakers, has been overwhelmingly positive:

“Huge amount of great support and signposting to further guidance and help. Thank you to all who contributed.”

“We have no training, or back up tech staff to support us, when I think of cyber security I freeze in fear.  I only really saw the afternoon, but I have learnt so much & have been able to identify starting points & resources to make it a little more manageable.  I might begin to make some progress now.”

“I listened in to the three or four presentations before me and you guys scared up some really good stuff that should be extremely useful to your audience, so well done. Brilliant.”

For more information about the speakers featured in Cyber on a Shoestring, to receive a copy of the slides from the day, or to enquire how the cyber support team can help your setting, please contact the Education Data Hub at [email protected]


School IT Provider Round Table

If you are an IT Support, Service, or Solution Provider to schools, we would like to invite you to a virtual round table on Tuesday 14th December 5.00pm – 6.30pm.

This roundtable is designed to bring suppliers together to discuss the challenges of working in and around schools and the security and privacy issues that impact the education sector, with input from the DfE and the Police.

This is also a chance for you to learn more about national projects, advise us of any concerns you may have and to discuss how we can work with you to ensure children are kept safe in a digital world.

This virtual round table is designed to be supportive, informative, and collaborative. We want to hear your views.

Draft Agenda:

  • Derbyshire’s work with the DfE and National Cyber Security Centre
  • Updates on the government view of security in schools and future frameworks/legislative changes
  • Your experiences in schools, any concerns you may have and removing any barriers you feel are affecting your provision
  • An update from our regional Cyber Protect Officer, around the current threats and security landscape
  • How vendors and suppliers can meet data protection requirements
  • How suppliers can work with the police to improve their own provision and security to schools

Book your free ticket via Eventbrite.

Education Data Hub, as part of Derbyshire County Council, are committed to working with all IT suppliers and support staff, in order to get the best quality services for schools.

School IT Provider Round Table 2
green data lights on the front of an ethernet router


Cyber on a Shoestring agenda finalised

Cyber on a Shoestring  – THE Cyber Event of the Year

On December 7th, Derbyshire County Council’s Education Data Hub service will be hosting what promises to be one of the largest educational, cyber security, and online safety events of the year – ‘Cyber on a Shoestring’.

Working with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department for Education, Police Cyber Resilience Centres and industry leads such as IASME, SWGfL, and the U.K. Safer Internet Centre, we will be showing schools, colleges, academies, and nurseries that effective online safety and cyber security need not cost the earth…

“It’s not the money you spend… it’s the actions you take”

This last year has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of cyber-attacks within local authorities, public and the private sector.  Hackers don’t discriminate as to who they target and schools and nurseries are seen as particularly vulnerable, leading to the loss, theft or wrongful sharing of sensitive data.

Digital safeguarding is one of the largest concerns facing schools and nurseries right now, all the more so, when we consider the rise in remote and virtual working following the Covid 19 pandemic.

Cyber on a Shoestring is free of charge and promises to help you access free resources to safeguard and protect your setting.

Places are limited – please click here to book your place via Eventbrite.

Please see our finalised agenda below – I think you’ll agree we have some amazing speakers for the day.

Cyber on a Shoestring agenda finalised 3


Don’t get caught out when it comes to pupil photos

Don’t get caught out when it comes to pupil photos 4


In the past the ICO have been known to issue reprimands, which are legal warnings, to schools for wrongly disclosing the personal data of children.

With Christmas round the corner it’s important to keep up to date on data protection law as those festive photo opportunities could lead to safeguarding concerns.

A blog by Andrew Laing, ICO Head of Data Protection Complaints, outlines two examples of this.




Cyber Essentials for Schools

Cyber Essentials for Schools 5There is a very concerning rise in the number of cyber attacks against schools.  These can take the form of phishing emails, malware and downloads from bogus websites, and ransomware attacks.

The Government are urging schools to take action to protect themselves against these kind of attacks.

Cyber Essentials is a government backed scheme that will help you to protect your school against a whole range of the most common cyber attacks.  Most cyber attacks are made up of repeated stages that lead to a more targeted attack. These untargeted attacks exploit basic weaknesses that can be found in many schools, such as poorly configured devices, software that hasn’t been updated, and unsupported computer systems.

Becoming Cyber Essentials certified will help schools defend themselves against this type of attack. The process of putting in place the five core controls will eliminate the common security gaps that up to 80% of cyber attacks rely on. Successful certification includes free cyber liability insurance.

Sometimes, schools are unsure about where to start to prepare for Cyber Essentials, and this is where we can help you.  Please visit our Cyber Essentials page to discover downloadable free resources for schools, and contact us at [email protected] if you would like more information about how we can support you on your journey to Cyber Essentials Certification.  We can take the majority of the work away from you.

How your school can support the new KCSIE guidelines

On the 1st September, new content was added to the Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance provided by the Department for Education (DfE).  The new section (p33, paragraphs 123 – 135) covers online safety, remote learning, filters and monitoring, information security, cyber-crime, reviewing online safety provision, and information and support:

“It is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. An effective whole school and college approach to online safety empowers a school or college to protect and educate pupils, students, and staff in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene in, and escalate any concerns where appropriate.”

We have developed training to support your understanding of digital safeguarding and meet with KCSIE requirements. Webinar prices are £45 per delegate and will be delivered via Teams.  Alternatively, please contact us at [email protected] if you would like to book a whole-school training session for just £199.

For more information about our November webinars, and to book tickets via Eventbrite, please click on the links below:

Cyber Awareness Training (suitable for all staff)

Cyber Incident Response and Disaster Recovery Planning

Safeguarding in a Digital World

Getting the most out of your IT Supplier

How your school can support the new KCSIE guidelines 6


Online Safety Conference

Education Data Hub’s Cyber Security Lead, Heather Toomey, will be speaking at an upcoming Online Safety Conference, hosted by Warwickshire ICT Development Service. Online Safety Conference 7
The event is in its seventh year and promises some fantastic speakers covering a wide range of online safety issues for education, and the support available for schools.
Heather will be talking about Cyber Security within the education sector and sharing advice on how you can reduce the risk of a cyber attack with guidance on recovery should the worst happen.
The online event takes place on Friday 26th November from 9am.  For more information and to enquire about buying tickets please CLICK HERE. 
Education Data Hub offers comprehensive Cyber Security training and support for all settings.  Please visit our Cyber Resilience page for lots of free and downloadable resources we have produced for schools, in partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre.

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