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The last keynote of the day was from Simon Finch, from the Northern Grid. My notes are more sparse here than for any other event of the day, mainly because Simon provided a master class in how to keep an audience rapt with his hard-hitting message on e-safety.

Much of the message was scary: people who want to harm children will try to be where they are; we have to manage our privacy much better, and train our children to do the same, including setting up decent passwords; we have to be hypercritical, because we don’t know all the reasons people have for putting their stuff online, and we need to educate the children to be hypercritical, and to think really, really, really hard before they trust someone; and we have to protect our online personae, because it’s too easy to have it taken away from you.

But it’s also an opportunity to create, and share, and communicate, and find other people interested in the same things as you.

Two points particularly resonated with me: firstly that it’s important to remember that we are applying existing laws to our new digital world, laws which were never intended to apply to it; we shouldn’t be surprised that they don’t fit.

Secondly, always act as if your enemies are standing right behind you. Your online you should be your ideal you. If you’re not happy to show off your online material to any of your colleagues or your boss, why would you ever post it online where it can be found by anyone?

 

As someone who is still getting used to people reading their tweets, reads this blog or even sees their name online, these are laws to live by.

Audrey Sutton closed the conference with an overview of the day, and a call to be digitally confident. And so say all of us.

We stood around for a while before we had to head for home in various directions,a nd as we did, we were making plans for how to put today’s advice into action. Be useful to review this is a few month’s time and see how we got on!

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