As the government’s online safety bill has recently become law there has been a lot of debate about how effective this could be.
One of the bill’s key aims is to make it is more difficult for young people under 18 to access content that’s considered harmful. But, it does put the onus on service providers such as social media companies to enforce minimum requirements, and take action.
Organisations like Internetmatters.org produce guides and advice about helping children and young people stay safe online – but if you work in social care and are commissioning a new app, website or platform for how do you make sure that it’s as safe and secure as possible for children and young people to use?
Technical Director, Virtual Memory Box, Dylan McKee says:
“Solutions developed with security-first and privacy-first approaches are absolutely paramount when looking at tech for young people, especially those in social care, to interact with.
“A great example of privacy-first design is the Apple approach to feature design that they have adopted in recent years, whereby all processing and features for privacy-first data stays on device and within Apple’s own software. This is an approach that we have learned from and followed in our design and development of the Virtual Memory Box, and so all functionality of the Virtual Memory Box is carried out within the Virtual Memory Box instance, rather than relying on third parties.
“One key security accreditation is a penetration test pass. This is where a third party security expert takes the software and tests it as if they were an outsider trying to gain access. We’re pleased to say that the Virtual Memory Box has been penetration tested multiple times and has a successful pass status from all of these tests, which brings peace of mind to our local authority partners in social care – and their ICT teams.
“Another security consideration is how the platform is hosted in its architecture. Some platforms like public social networks are centralised in their hosting architecture, whereas Virtual Memory Box is decentralised in its hosting architecture. This means that each instance of Virtual Memory Box is within the cloud but physically separate to other instances, so councils benefit from very clear physical separation of their team’s data from other team’s who may also use the software, again giving peace of mind to both the social care and the ICT teams.
“A final security consideration is flexibility in hosting environment. Because of the decentralised nature of the Virtual Memory Box as mentioned above, it can be hosted either in the Government G-Cloud approved cloud environment provided by Virtual Memory Box, or if required, on-premises at the local authority’s server centre, or in the local authority’s cloud.”