The Hello Hub provides free internet. In turn, this provides complete freedom to learn, access the information that interests you, explore and be inquisitive. It provides entertainment and a chance to connect with people around the world. It enables you to ask questions that you might not be able to ask to the people around you. Internet access offers dignity and it is acknowledged as a human right.
That said, there are dangerous and harmful sides to the internet. At Hello World, we have a duty to protect Hub users when they are using the Hub internet. Therefore, we have taken steps to ensure that Hub users are kept safe online:
- Our Internet Service Providers block any pornographic or adult content at the highest level so that anyone using the wifi, on the tablets or by connecting to the hotspot on a personal device, will not have access to harmful content.
- Our Hub tablets use a child lock system, so that users can only access the applications loaded onto the tablets. This includes the internet, but the child locking system only allows access to child friendly sites.
- Internet Safety is discussed at the initial Hub build meeting and throughout the build, with the Hello World team providing advice to communities with how to stay safe online.
- We know that there are always ways around internet blocks. Therefore, on top of all of our protections, we provide internet safety training to our Community Support Officers, who in turn teach their communities how to stay safe online. This knowledge can then be used when Hub users are connected to less protected WiFi in the future. Find the guidelines below.
- We make resources available to our CSOs to share with their communities. These are clear and easy to read documents that enable community members to understand quickly how to stay safe online. See resources bank here.
Online Safety Training
We use and adapt the guidelines provided by UNICEF to keep children and adults safe online at our Hello Hubs. Not only will these guidelines support community members to be safe when using the Hubs, but also when they access the internet away from the Hub in the future.
Community Support Officers are required to read these guidelines and to make sure they are observed at their Hub.
Empowering children online
Do discuss internet safety with children and the community regularly and authentically. Teach them to keep personal online information private.
Do agree with the child depending on their ages about rules of using the Internet and personal devices, giving attention to issues of privacy, age inappropriate places, bullying and stranger danger.
Do inform children about how to seek out help and support. Children should also be encouraged to use their voices online to support others in need of help.
Do tell children how to report any abuse or concerns.
Do encourage children to report bad behavior and leave unpleasant conversations.
Support parents and caregivers to help children stay safe online
Do encourage children to protect their online information by creating passwords.
Encourage children to ask themselves “If you wouldn’t do it face to face - Don’t do it online” For example, talking to strangers.
Do remind children that online is still the real world.
Children can report abuse to their Community Support Officer or to parents, teachers or trusted mentors.
How adults can keep children safe online
Do alert parents/caregivers to the online risks for children such as: sexual exploitation, self-harm, cyberbullying and other types of online abuse might children experience.
Do inform parents/caregivers on how to respond to and, if needed, report harmful contacts, conduct and content.
Do update guidance for teachers/ service providers on identifying and reporting child abuse or neglect via their virtual communications.
Don’t exchange personal contact information or ask for children’s personal information. Don’t develop relationships with children which could in any way be deemed exploitative or abusive.
Don’t use language, make suggestions, provide misleading information or offer advice to Children which is inappropriate, offensive or abusive; Don’t send private messages via email and social media to children.
Don’t ask children to open their webcams. Don’t give any confidential and critical information that could lead to a child being identified or traced.
Do inform children that social media channels are established for the purpose they are created for and should be only used for that purpose. Content that is irrelevant to the purpose should not be shared.
Do share rules for mobile use and adapt Safeguarding policies, anti-bullying rules among your WhatsApp/Facebook groups.
When setting up Social Media groups follow these ground rules:
Take into account ages of children and involve parents as age appropriate.
A Facebook group can be different than a WhatsApp group:
WhatsApp groups in general should be smaller and with those who know each other for easier interaction and moderating discussion. Whereas Facebook groups can be larger, and members do not necessarily know each other. Membership should be based on admission criteria established. The ground rules should be specified adhering to core values, non-discrimination, inclusion, etc. Moderator should monitor the posts that are submitted before approving them, and closely monitor the comments made.
Don’t expose children to inappropriate images, films, music and websites including mature content, indecent images (pornography) and violence.
Don’t discuss or share, via social media any sensitive, confidential data or internal matters concerning children. Don’t use your personal social media to conduct work activities if you have an official one.