Published: 23rd Dec 2020
Online safety is central to what being ‘digitally included’ means. It is especially important for people who are new or limited users of the internet (often older people, and working-age adults with low educational attainment and low incomes) and those in vulnerable situations. This paper is a review of research, policy and practice - supplemented with insights from community organisations and those they support. We focused on ‘everyday’ internet risks, rather than the worst excesses of internet behaviour. We particularly wanted to understand the links between online safety and digital access, skills and confidence. Through this review, we have become more aware of the overlaps between digital literacy, media literacy, and data literacy (that is, people’s understanding of the value of their personal data, how it is used and how to control this).
This report was generously supported by BT as part of BT Skills for Tomorrow. Together with BT, we will be publishing (early in 2021) a set of recommendations to encourage further discussion about how to address the findings and rise to the challenges ahead.