At the same time, the media tends to focus on the rare occasions when use of the Internet causes distress. The Scottish Executive believes that young people need to be protected and informed; and that those responsible for them, whether teachers, parents or other careers, should be aware of the issues involved.
Previous Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) publications in this area have dealt with the need to protect pupils from misuse of computers (Information Ethics) and to understand copyright implications (Copyright and Ethics in a Digital Age).
This booklet focuses on personal safety and wellbeing. It attempts to clarify potential risks and to empower Internet users in schools so that they can keep themselves safe. Those who manage Scottish schools, and all teachers, whether responsible for a primary class or for teaching a subject, will find policy guidelines and background information which will prepare our pupils to take their safe and well-earned place in the Digital Age.
Much of the advice in these guidelines will be relevant to other Local Authority staff responsible for overseeing young people's use of the Internet (e.g. managers and staff in community education centers, residential homes for young people, libraries and other settings). These groups should take account of the messages about personal safety, and put into place the recommendations suitable for their setting.