6 February is ‘Safer Internet Day’, celebrated in hundreds of countries worldwide. The slogan for this year is “Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you”. To celebrate Safer Internet Day and to support using technology responsibly, we are sharing our top tips for safer online surveys…
Safer online surveys – celebrate Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet.
We have partnered with Guardian Saints to provide them with survey software to allow them to carry out their work. Guardian Saints is a Community Interest Company dedicated to helping and working with individuals and organisations responsible for safeguarding young people in care, widely considered as the most vulnerable children in society today.
As part of their work, they have sought to gather evidence to highlight the challenges those responsible for keeping this group of young people safe are faced with. Recently, they undertook a survey with Foster Carers, after which a report was published and widely circulated. The report highlights a number of key issues, however, most worryingly shows that 56% of young people in care have been exposed to further risk of harm as a result of using the internet, with indications that social media sites are the main conduit. The results were presented to the Evidence Committee of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety together with a number of other key influencers, and we hope this will act as a catalyst for change.
Guardian Saints selected to use SmartSurvey as their software provider for a number of reasons:
- SmartSurvey’s robust approach to data protection and security
- ISO 27001 certification
- We are compliant with the Cyber Essentials Plus Scheme
- SmartSurvey is registered under the Data Protection Act
David Sankey from Guardian Saints commented, “SmartSurvey has many government organisations as customers, including the Home Office, Department for Education, Environment Agency, Metropolitan Police, Her Majesty’s Passport Trust, and HMRC. In view of the community Guardian Saints may analyse data from, it is essential we have confidence that the information is secured appropriately”.
“In addition, we wanted to work with a UK company that is both flexible and straightforward to use. When we have needed help, it has been quickly and readily available. We have now been working with Smart Survey for over three years and they have been exceedingly supportive of the work we do”.
SmartSurvey allows you to create any type of survey, whether simple or sophisticated. Then collect and analyse your data securely using advanced reporting tools. Here are our top tips for gathering data securely with online surveys.
5 Top Tips for creating safe online surveys
#1 – Use an accredited supplier – Look for online survey providers who are ISO27001 Information Security Management accredited, who back up data on ISO certified UK servers and are fully compliant with the Cyber Essentials Plus Scheme. Public sector or government projects should look for approved G-cloud suppliers.
#2 – Store data securely – The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), intended to strengthen and unify data protection, will be implemented on 25th May 2018 and organisations must ensure that they are compliant. Make sure your survey supplier is conforming to European personal data requirements and enables SSL encryption on any of your surveys to protect sensitive information online.
#3 – Privacy for survey responses – When creating a survey you can choose to make responses anonymous. This can encourage honest feedback and leaves respondents feeling safe in the knowledge that the information cannot be traced back to them.
#4 – Create strong passwords – Make all your passwords unique using a combination of words, numbers, symbols, and both upper- and lower-case letters. Companies are advised to put a mandatory password policy in place to enhance computer security, and you should encourage staff to create passwords that are strong and to change them on a regular basis.
#5 – Complied consent – It is recommended that all marketing campaigns are permission-based, with a clear explanation of what a person’s details will be used for. Provide a simple way for users to opt out of marketing messages and have a system in place for dealing with complaints.
The new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will enforce specific requirements for processing personal data of subjects residing in the EU, and it will be essential to be prepared for the changes. Here are some tips on collecting sensitive online survey data.
Whether you go online to communicate for business or pleasure, to carry out academic research, for keeping up-to-date with news and events, or for entertainment; ‘Safer Internet Day’ is a chance to share the amazing things the internet has to offer.
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Join the conversation at #SID2018 – get trending in support for Safer Internet Day! Get involved, play your part!