Sixth Form esafety presentation

Sixth Form students at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School are fairly internet-savvy but they had plenty of food for thought on Friday. As part of its Sixth Form lecture programme the School invited Karl Hopwood from esaftey Ltd to talk to students about what can happen if things go wrong, and how they can prevent issues arising.

Many students have been working hard on university applications and they learned how admissions tutors search the internet when they are making decisions about prospective candidates. In the USA a startling 80% of admissions tutors use Facebook to check details of applicants. Whilst the UK figure might be lower, many UK universities do use the internet to check on applicants. As well as the main social media sites there are less obvious sites that recruiters can check, for example, it is possible to check which books have been bought on Amazon, or view an Amazon Wish List which is publically available.

Mr Hopwood explained how employers will carry out internet searches to find out if there is anything in someone’s past that could bring their organisation into disrepute for example use of drugs or being drunk. He gave the example of a student who, when he was aged 13, ‘liked’ a Facebook page about cannabis when competing with friends to see who could ‘like’ the most outrageous pages. This ‘like’ is visible to potential employers and could give a very misleading impression of a person who has never actually tried any drugs. Interestingly, Mr Hopwood also pointed out that removing yourself from social media might not be the answer. Apparently 35% of employers say they are less likely to interview a candidate who they can’t find online.

Sixth Form student, Rebecca Lee said “It was a really interesting talk and made us think about reviewing our privacy settings, especially on mobile phones. It also made us aware of situations we could put ourselves in and how to avoid giving a negative image online.”

Head of Sixth Form, Kate Ross said “This talk brought home to students how important it is that they use the internet and social media wisely. It made them aware how university admissions tutors and employers use the internet to inform their decisions about who they will recruit. I would like to thank Karl Hopwood for this very interesting and thought-provoking presentation and am sure many students will now be reviewing their online presence.” Photo shows Mr Hopwood talking to a student after the lecture.

7th March 2016

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