From the Deputy Head of College, Patrick Brennan
2017 has seen the us working towards its strategic target of increasing the numbers of Indigenous students attending Waverley College.
As well as providing this opportunity for local indigenous students, the College in partnership with the John Moriarty Foundation is giving Indigenous boys from remote Australia the opportunity of a private education in Sydney. Recently the College welcomed Darius Kidd (Year 7) and Tremaine Jupiter (Year 8) from Robinson River NT and Jeremy Herbert (Year 8) from Borroloola School NT.
I spoke at a recent assembly about the challenges that these boys will face leaving their families, familiar landscapes, climate, culture and traditions and move to what must seem life on a different planet – Sydney. I also suggested this initiative was just as much a learning opportunity for our indigenous students as the rest of the Waverley College community. I encouraged all of our students to welcome these students to the College and actively engage with them making them feeling welcome as they adjust to life in Sydney.
I have been nothing short of amazed with the warmth and care our students have shown these new members of our school community.
Over the weekend a group of our older students spent time with these boys taking them to a rugby league game and fishing. In the playground I have seen students welcome these boys into their groups and games. I can assure you that this makes a huge different during the transitional time for the boys.
Well done everyone!
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner has recently received several online complaints about compromised Snapchat accounts
Snapchat is an app that allows users to share images and videos (‘snaps’) with friends. Before a user can access Snapchat, they must first create an account protected with a password. Typically, content shared with friends is ‘ephemeral’ and is deleted a short time after being viewed.
Recently, Snapchat released a new feature – ‘Memories’. With Memories, users can preserve content in a secure archive on their phone. The feature includes a section called “My Eyes Only” – a PIN protected area where explicit snaps can be stored. The Office has learned that some students have shared their Snapchat account passwords with friends or people they’ve met online. This has led to unauthorised individuals gaining access to accounts, and intimate or unwanted images or videos being shared, or threatened to be shared. In some cases, once individuals have accessed an account, they’re also requesting to know the user’s ‘My Eyes Only’ PIN. Attempting to solicit information from a person in this way is a form of social engineering.
Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information like passwords and PINs. The attacker uses social pressure, deception or threats to influence a person into doing something against their interests. Social engineering is not hacking. Hacking involves the use of computer technologies to gain unauthorised access to systems and networks. Students sometimes use the term ‘hacking’ when in fact they have shared their password.
Social engineering can be used to steal identities, violate people’s privacy and to obtain ‘high-value’ information, such as intimate images. This type of cyber-threat can be subtle, and may appear as a simple request to help a friend. Spotting social engineering attempts can be challenging.
Your child can decrease their chances of social engineering by following these steps:
- Set strong passwords and PINs for all devices and
- Use two-factor authentication to secure all accounts, including Snapchat
- Never give out confidential information (even to friends) – this includes passwords and PINs
- Treat unsolicited emails with scepticism
- Review account activity regularly – most social networking sites and apps, including Snapchat, allow users to see where they’re logged in and what apps or tools are connected.
If your child’s Snapchat account is compromised, and intimate images or videos have been accessed and shared with others, follow these steps:
- Visit Snapchat’s Safety Centre
- Click on the “Report a safety concern” button
- Choose the “Report a safety concern” option
- Choose the “A Snap or Chat I’ve received” option
- Choose the “It contained nudity” option, or another option if more appropriate
- Click ‘Yes” for the question “Still need help?” and fill in the required text boxes – try to provide as much information as possible in the ‘What information should we know?’ text box. This could include information about the particular way an account was compromised, or the ways in which intimate or embarrassing content has been shared without consent.
If Snapchat has not resolved your issue within 48 hours, you may be able to complain to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. The eSafety Commissioner will take action against cyberbullying material that is serious. Specifically, the material needs to seriously threaten, intimidate, harass or humiliate a child before they can step in.
Any boys who have been affected by such an occurrence on Snapchat or any other social media platform for that matter, should contact the Deputy Head or their Head of House immediately.