In addition to face-to-face classes, Lexis is also using a hybrid model of learning and teaching. This page outlines the digital safety concerns that may accompany periods of increased online activity.
Online Meetings, Social Events and Video Conferencing
As some classes, meetings and social events are held online, it is important to take extra precautions to safeguard your own safety as well as the safety of others. Especially when using online meeting tools such as Zoom, which enable our community to connect with people outside the geographic location of the school; here are some safety tips and recommendations.
When using Zoom, ensure that you take the following precautions:
- Always require a password for meetings. This password should never be shared publicly.
- Do not share meeting links on social media or other public platforms where they can easily be intercepted by trolls or cybercriminals.
- Use the Waiting Room feature and verify all attendees one-by-one before granting access.
- Change your screen sharing settings to ‘Host only.’ This will prevent trolls from accessing your video calls. You can either change this in your pre-meeting settings or in the in-call admin settings for Share Screen -> Advanced Sharing Settings.
- Disable “Join Before Host” to prevent people causing trouble before you arrive.
- Enable “Co-Host” so you can assign a co-facilitator to help you moderate.
- Disable “File Transfer” to prevent digital virus sharing.
- Disable “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin” so that expelled attendees cannot regain access.
- Do not use personal email addresses when registering for, or using, Zoom. Use the school email instead.
- No confidential, sensitive or personally-identifiable school information should be discussed or displayed.
In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, there has been a sharp rise in fraud both online and offline. The most common types of fraud include phishing emails, telephone and text message scams, and online shopping scams. It is more important than ever to be vigilant against fraudsters and to beef up your own digital defences.
For more information on different types of Coronavirus-related fraud, as well as how to protect yourself against these frauds, please visit the Fraud Awareness Resources linked below:
Action Fraud - This website provides helpful advice on how to protect yourself from fraud and cybercrime.
Check if your email has been compromised - “Have I been Pwned?” is a website that checks to see if your email has ever been leaked in a data breach.
Cifas: Fraud Prevention - Cifas is a UK-based non-profit fraud prevention service. Find helpful articles and advice on how to prevent and respond to financial fraud through the website below.
Fraud, tricks and scams (HMRC) - This page gives you advice on protecting yourself from tricks and scams the Home Office are aware of. Remember, if you receive an unexpected email, telephone call or letter from someone who claims to be from the Home Office, it may be a scam.
Telephone Fraud - Find tips for what to look out for when it comes to telephone fraud through the video below.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, fraudsters are more active than ever, taking advantage of increases in remote working and online shopping. The following websites offer more information on what types of scams to look out for as well as what to do if you've been the victim of a Coronavirus-related scam.
ASA Consumer Advice: Avoiding coronavirus scams - This webpage provides ASA’s top tips for avoiding Coronavirus scams as well as a list of useful organisations to contact if you’re concerned about potential scams.
BBC: Coronavirus: How hackers are preying on fears of Covid-19 - The BBC have tracked five campaigns that cyber criminals are using to target individuals and industries with emails scams.
Get Safe Online: Current Coronavirus-related online scams you should be aware of - This article provides short summaries of some common fraudulent activity associated with the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Google's Covid-19 Safety Tips - To help you avoid Covid-19 scams, Google has put together a useful fact sheet to help you spot and avoid online fraud. Learn about common types of scams, such as fraudulent financial offers, fake charitable donation requests and false government updates, as well as how to prevent these.
Ofcom: Advice for consumers: coronavirus scam calls and texts - This article provides information on scam calls and text messages that have impacted consumers in the wake of Covid-19 and includes picture examples of what to look out for.
Safe, Secure, Online: Cyber Security Advice during Coronavirus - In this article, SWGfL outlines measures you can take to keep yourself safe online in the face of rising email, website and online shopping related scams.
UK Government: Be vigilant against coronavirus scams - In the wake of increased Coronavirus-related scams, the UK government has issued official advice on how to protect yourself online.
Lexis School of English has a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of bullying and harassment. As members of an international community that prides itself on honouring diverse perspectives, it is important to practise good digital citisenship and treat all others with dignity and respect both online and off.
As digital engagement forms an integral part of online work and study, it’s important to take measures to safeguard your digital wellbeing:
- Check your privacy settings – This is especially important if you use one or more forms of social media. As we spend more of our time engaging with others online, it’s important to know who has access to your posts and personal information. To keep yourself safe and secure, it’s good practice to review your privacy settings every few months.
- Review your location services – While we might not be venturing far from home during a pandemic, it’s still important to review how much access your digital devices have to your location. Perform a quick check to see if location services are enabled in each of your apps and ask yourself if it’s necessary that these applications have access to your geographical information.
- Use wellbeing controls – Many devices and platforms now offer options that help you manage the time you spend online. If you’re finding it increasingly difficult to separate work and study from your down time, simply turning off notifications or activating “do not disturb” can make a world of difference.
- Set your own boundaries online – Being constantly bombarded by news reports and social media posts can take a toll on your mental health. If you’re feeling anxious or fatigued, setting your own boundaries online might help you manage your digital wellbeing. Only engage with what you’re comfortable engaging with online and take regular breaks from social media if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- Be an active bystander (if it is safe for you to do so) – With so much activity happening online, it’s important that we support one another in virtual spaces. If you’ve witnessed cyberbullying behaviours online you can report the issue to the platform, though sometimes even sending a personal message to victims of online harassment can make all the difference.