Unit name: Safeguarding and Protection in Care Settings
Learning outcome: 7. Understand principles for online safety
Assessment criteria: 7.3 Explain the importance of balancing measures for online safety against the benefits to individuals of using electronic systems and devices
We’ve looked at some of the risks of using the Internet and some of the methods that may be used to mitigate that risk. However, when investigating online safety measures for the individuals that you support, it is important to take a person-centred approach and balance the risks against their rights and the benefits of using such systems.
It can not simply be a case of saying ‘there are risks to using the Internet, so we will strongly advise that our service users do not use it‘. Not only does this contravene their rights, but also excludes them from any of the potential benefits of online access, such as keeping in touch with friends and family or making online purchases.
Least restrictive options should be used, which still gives individuals the benefits of the Internet whilst still protecting them as much as possible from potential risks.
There may be forensic reasons why Internet access is denied for some individuals or concerns about an individual’s capacity to understand how they can keep themselves safe, so the risks for each individual will be unique.