Monitoring Internet Usage to Safeguard Students in Schools


Scott Glew

Scott Glew

In this digital-driven age, it has become integral to focus educational resources and policy towards protecting students/pupils while they are online at school. Across the world, different countries are putting guidelines in place to help protect children and keep them safe from exposure to harmful online content by monitoring internet usage to safeguard students in schools.

The types of digital exposure we want to minimise to protect students online:

  • Exposure to inappropriate or harmful materials online such as pornography, violent content and gambling.
  • Exposure to content that promotes worrying or harmful behaviour such as suicide, self-harm and eating disorders.
  • Radicalisation and extremism online.
  • Problematic internet use (internet addiction).
  • Privacy violations such as hacking and scams/hoaxes.

What schools can do to digitally safeguard students and lower risks in the classroom:

  • Establish effective online filters to block inappropriate websites.
  • Use tools to monitor and report on the search terms students are searching for, and their internet usage behaviour.
  • Consider the fair use of personal devices.
  • Ensure staff are trained in how to respond to concerns and alerts and are up to date with policy and practice.
  • Teach children and young people how to stay safe online with their online privacy and the content they access.

Helping schools identify at-risk students by monitoring Internet Usage

The easiest way for education providers to ensure their students are safe when using the school’s online resources is implementing monitoring and reporting tools that recognise at-risk behaviour and inappropriate content that is being accessed by individuals or groups of students.

Our Fastvue Reporter platform comes with a range of alerts to help schools detect students at risk of self-harm, extremism and radicalisation or just searching for undesirable content, such as X-rated websites.

Fastvue Reporter

Image: Fastvue Reporter's Real Time Alerts

The use of these tools can enable educators to identify ‘at risk’ students and proactively intervene.

For example, one of our Fastvue customers received an email alert (like the one shown below) after a school student searched for ‘easiest ways to kill myself’.

Detecting students at risk of self-harm with Fastvue Reporter Image: Detecting students at risk of self-harm with Fastvue Reporter's email alerts

The school immediately took this child out of class, discovered he was at risk and got him the help that he needed.

How easy is it to setup Fastvue Reporter in my school?

Fastvue Reporter is incredibly simple to set up in three simple steps:

  1. Download Fastvue Reporter for your chosen firewall
  2. Install Fastvue Reporter onto a server in your school’s network
  3. Send syslog data from your firewall to the Fastvue server

If you’re a School Teacher, Principal or School Chaplain, your school’s IT department can easily implement steps 2 and 3 for you.

Once installed, whenever internet searches match one of the keywords in our predefined groups, alerts are triggered to notify the correct person. You can receive these alerts via email or via the Fastvue Reporter interface.

Fastvue Reporter

Image: Fastvue Reporter's Email Alerts for Safeguarding Students

You can also duplicate and segment the alerts by year group/cohort to ensure they are sent to the right person without overwhelming single individuals. For example, you may want all alerts related to the activity of Year 10 students emailed to the Year 10 Coordinator.

To see this in action watch the quick video below.


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