How To Avoid Getting Phished | Webanywhere Blog

Published: March 2, 2016

“Phishing” is what happens when someone manages to get control of your username and password through pretending to be in a position of authority. It can take many forms, from fake phonecalls to emails inviting you to a website where you’re told you need to “re-enter username and password”, and all it does is report these back to the phisher.

We’ve talked in the past about staying safe online, but phishers use tactics specifically designed to get around the defences you build up. Here’s our top tips for avoiding getting caught out:

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Staying secure online with Webanywhere

Published: December 7, 2015

As the UK’s largest provider of school websites, website security is of course an issue of utmost importance to us, and your security as customers is paramount. Here’s a list of our recommended tips to help keep you safe online!
1. Never give out your password to anybody.
This is the single most important piece of advice we can offer. It doesn’t matter how strong or weak your password is, keep it to yourself. Never send it in emails or store it in text files on your PC. And remember, Webanywhere staff will never ask for your password!

2. Make sure you know where you’re entering your password.
Ensure the website you’re using is the correct one at all times – sometimes login pages can be “spoofed”, so you might be taken to, rather than These are sites designed to capture your username and password.
3. Use a different password for every site.
If you use the same password on every website, don’t. Don’t do this. Often, attacks on websites are “dictionary” based, meaning they’ll take existing lists of usernames and passwords from other hacked websites and try them on new ones. If you use the same password for everything, this makes all your accounts vulnerable if one of them is compromised.
4. Use a password manager.
In conjunction with point 3, a password manager can help generate and store secure, unique passwords for every site you visit. We can recommend LastPass for this.
5. If you see something, say something.
If you think your account has been compromised, contact us as quickly as possible on either or 0800 862 0131 (free from landlines and mobiles). Similarly, if you get an email asking for your password, let us know – again, official Webanywhere emails will never ask for your password! Students can also report problems using the Jotter Safety Shield button.
It’s important to always be careful what you’re doing online – the Internet can be a potentially dangerous place, but by following these tips you should be able to keep yourself safe from the vast majority of attacks out there. If you’d like more information, please contact us at

Anti Bullying Week – Monthly Round Up & Podcast

Published: November 26, 2015

This month to mark November’s Anti Bullying Week we’ve been producing lots of blogs to help you teach all about bullying in the classroom. We’ve covered lots of areas, from how to prevent cyberbullying in your school, through to all manner of websites you can use to help teach anti bullying. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
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Anti Bullying Week – Anti Bullying Assembly for KS1 & KS2

Published: November 19, 2015

With this week being Anti Bullying week in the UK we thought we’d help you teach students about bullying with this brief but clear presentation on what bullying is, what to do if you’re being bullied and the golden rule on being happy. It’s about 10 minutes long and includes some fun animations suitable for primary school children, KS1 and KS2. Click the link below to request a download of the presentation.

Anti Bullying Presentation

6 resources for ensuring eSafety for children in schools

Published: June 26, 2015

There are a huge range of risks online for students, staff and schools when using the Internet. Fortunately there is a wide range of (generally) free online resources available to help us understand the risks, implement policies to mitigate them, and teach people to make sensible decisions online.

We’ve highlighted 6 resources that everyone working within education and with children online should be aware of, in order to prepare for using the internet and understanding what to do when coming across any potentially harmful content.
Childnet are a non-profit organisation who work to ensure the internet is a safe and enjoyable place for children. They produce a great range of free resources to help staff and students learn more about risks and how to understand and manage these in school

KidSMART is part of Childnet and provides useful resources such as lesson plans, leaflets, posters, activity days and interactive games for teaching eSafety as well as information for parents
SWGFL are a another not for profit charity trust and a recognised leader in e-safety, not just in the South West. Policy templates, checklists and a wide range of learning resources for both staff and students are available for free
ICT4Collaboration are specialists in providing technology services to educational organisations and are part of the Yorkshire and Humberside Grid for Learning. They provide local ICT training events all across Yorkshire as well as useful online resources
IWF is the Internet Watch Foundation. They are the UK Hotline for reporting criminal content online, including child sexual abuse content and criminally obscene adult content. If you have content of this nature reported to you it is important that you do not investigate or try to access it. Just go to the IWF website at and report it. The process is anonymous and confidential.
CEOP, The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, part of the UK Government’s National Crime Agency, is an organisation consisting of police officers who work to prosecute online child sex offenders, including those who produce, distribute and view online child abuse material. CEOP operate a similar online reporting tool for incidents such as grooming or people acting inappropriately towards children online. This can be found at
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Webanywhere eSafety – Visit our dedicated eSafety pages to find out more about the issue and how to prevent any online issues.

Is your school website safe and secure?

Published: January 9, 2015

With the recent hacking of Sowerby School’s website, we’ve had a few customers contacting us concerned that the same could happen to them. We want to reassure all of our customers, whether they use School Jotter or any other of our products, that your security is our primary concern. The vulnerability through which Sowerby’s website was hacked is not present in any of our software, so you can rest assured that your content is as safe as it can be.
That said, there are certain precautions that we recommend all users should take. While a lot of these are common sense, users are often vulnerable to “social engineering” attacks, and we want to make sure you’re as safe as possible. We sat down with Webanywhere security and development expert Arthur Howie who had a few tips for us.

1. Never tell your password to ANYONE

Your login password should be a private string of characters that only you know. Any person with whom a password is shared is a potential vulnerability in the system. Our technical support will never ask for your password.

2. Don’t use the same password for multiple things

For convenience’s sake, it might be tempting to use the same password on your email accounts as on your school website’s login. This is very bad practice and means that if someone unscrupulous gets access to one of your passwords, all of your accounts are potentially compromised.

3. Make sure your password is complex but memorable

For example, don’t use “password1” – this is not good practice at all and is very vulnerable to “dictionary” attacks, where a hacker might try lots of common passwords. Your password should be a mixture of upper and lower case characters as well as non-alphanumeric ones if possible (ie #!£$%& etc). This will make you much less vulnerable to these attacks. It’s good practice to change it every few weeks as well. A great way to make a password secure while still being easy to remember is to simply make them long phrases.

4. Don’t use an easily guessable password

It can be tempting to use the name of a pet or loved one as a password as these are usually uncommon words, but you really shouldn’t. This is information that is easily searchable on the web and will be one of the first things an attacker tries.

5. Make sure your “secret question” is something only you know

In order to reset your password you’ll often need to answer a “secret question”, the answer to which you’ve previously set. This might be something such as “What school did you attend” or “Who is your favourite singer”. This information can often be gleaned from social media accounts or other sources, leaving you vulnerable, so make sure it’s not publicly available information – in 2008 Sarah Palin’s email was hacked in this way.

6. Ensure your antivirus is up to date

On any computer where you’re going to be entering personal information, make sure you’ve installed antivirus software – this is often available for free through your institution or even your personal bank. Without one, software could be installed without your consent and potentially capture sensitive login information.

7. Be careful what you click on

NEVER click on a link you’re unsure of. An email that purports to come from your bank or the government might simply be trying to “phish” your data. Antivirus software can sometimes prevent against this by scanning links ahead of time, but it’s no substitute for proper practice.
All that’s needed to keep yourself and your school safe online is to take the necessary precautions. We’re confident in our security at Webanywhere, and we want you to feel safe as well. If you have any concerns or questions regarding security or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0113 3200 750, or email

Our e-Safety Questionnaire – The Results Are Rather Interesting…

Published: May 7, 2014

Last month, Webanywhere invited schools and teachers to take part on a e-safety questionnaire (you can see our original blog post here) – and last week, we compiled the results. If you took part- thank you! You’ve helped us build a picture of the state of e-safety in UK primary schools – and here are the results.
The survey revealed that, astonishingly, 63% of teachers don’t feel they have any influence over whether a child uses social networking sites, such as Facebook. Facebook, incidentally, has a minimum user age of 13.
And almost a third – 30% – feel they haven’t had adequate training on how to deal with cyberbullying.

The survey also revealed that 55% were aware that between one and five pupils had been a victim of cyberbullying at their school in the past 12 months.
The purpose of this questionnaire was originally to get a better insight into how schools feel about -and are affected by – e-safety issues. However, since seeing these results we decided to speak one of our customers about the issue – as well as an independent e-safety expert.
Jo Corrigan, Headteacher at Eastlands Primary School in Rugby – who hold an SWGfL 360 safe accreditation and has two members of staff registered as CEOP Ambassadors – took part in the survey and said: “The teaching and learning of internet safety is extremely important from an early age. Key to educating the children is ensuring staff are appropriately trained.
“At Eastlands Primary School we try to develop innovative ways of engaging parents and children with the safe use of the internet – for example, ‘speed-e-learning’ workshops.”
John Carr OBE, Secretary of the UK’s Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety, said: “Teachers can’t teach if they don’t feel confident in relation to the subject they are meant to be teaching about. This survey shows that too many teachers do not feel they have been given proper support to enable them to do their job. That has to be fixed, as a matter of priority.
The full results of the survey, in colourful pier charts, can be seen below. If you’d like to find out more about e-safety, or if you would like to learn more about our free e-safety events, please email

How Important is e-Safety To You?

Published: April 3, 2014

How important is e-safety to you?

That’s the question we’re asking primary school teachers this week, in one of the largest surveys we’ve ever done.
As Webanywhere’s e-safety events continue across the country (the next one is in Liverpool – find out more about it here) we want to know more about how this hot topic affects schools. The feedback we get – and any comments received about the subject – will help us to improve our events as well as our products, and cater to teachers’ needs even better.
If you’d like to take part in the survey – it’s just four multiple choice questions, so won’t take long – you can find it here.
Plus, every school that completes the four questions will get our online rewards system, School Merits, for free!

Nurturing Online Learning – Are We Visiting Your Town?

Published: February 25, 2014

Webanywhere’s recent string of Nurturing Online Learning events have been a huge success – and we’re now planning more for March and April.

During February, to coincide with Safer Internet Day, we’ve visited Manchester, Swindon, Halifax and London – with two more events, in Carlisle and Birmingham, scheduled for this coming Monday. Each event, joint-hosted by Webanywhere and a local primary school, covered e-safety and cyberbullying, and Ofsted requirements for school websites. Both sessions of each event were delivered by CEOP Ambassador Tracey Gentle.
During each session, cyberbullying was covered in detail: What it is, how teachers can spot it, and how your school can prevent it in the future. Then, Tracey helped teachers make sense of Ofsted’s ever-changing list of requirements for school websites, discussing each area in plain English and giving suggestions as to how, aside from pleasing the inspectors, a school website can benefit from meeting the requirements.

At each event, a local school presented their website and explained how they used it to its full potential – engaging parents, pupils and other teachers.
If you missed our recent events, we’re now scheduling follow-up sessions for late March and April. Most will cover e-safety and Pupil Premium, and will take place in Oxford, Liverpool, Norwich, Chelmsford, Blackpool and a follow-up event in Birmingham.
To keep up to date with our latest event news, and to find out when the dates of the new sessions are, keep an eye on our events page ( and our Twitter handle (@webanywhere_ltd).

Anti-bullying Week: We Ask Experts For Their Cyberbullying Views

Published: November 28, 2013

Cyberbullying has become this year’s biggest cause for concern: In the last couple of years, it has grown to the point where we are now seeing it appear in Coronation Street storylines and become part of Ofsted’s e-safety inspections. There have been far more serious knock-on effects when you delve deeper. Since 2012, there have been four teenage suicides as a result of cyberbullying via the website 21% of 8-11 year olds admit to having been targeted, threatened or humiliated by an individual or group through the use of a mobile phone or the Internet (Beatbulling, Virtual Violence II).

Last week was Anti-Bullying Week, so we’ve brought together three e-safety experts and asked them their views on cyberbullying. Our three experts are:

Will Gardner

Will is a CEO of Childnet, an organisation whose aim is to make the Internet a safer place for children. Childnet works with children, teachers, parents and carers to equip them with the help, information and resources they need to make sure children have a safe and happy online experience.

Tracey Gentle

Tracey is a former teacher and a CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre) Ambassador. Having spent many years in primary schools using technology, Tracey has a rich and diverse e-learning background, and through her affiliation with CEOP, promotes awareness of e-safety through events run by Webanywhere.

John Carr OBE

John is one of the world’s leading authorities on children and young people’s use of the internet. He is a member of the Independent Quality and Safeguarding Board of Compass Children’s Service, and is a Senior Expert Advisor to the United Nations. In 2011 John was awarded the OBE for ‘outstanding achievement in the field of child online safety.’

1. How big a problem do you feel cyberbullying is now compared to, say, five years ago?

Will Gardner: Unlike other forms of bullying, the number of cases isn’t going down. It’s very hard to get a baseline of figures to show how it has increased – but it’s a problem that affects many young people’s lives.

Tracey Gentle: Five years ago mobile phones did not access the internet so easily, we did not have hand held devices or tablets that could take photographs and videos, and uploading to the internet was difficult and took a long time (upload speeds were much slower then and dial up was still widely used). Cyberbullying was therefore not a big issue then – children and young people did not have their own devices but used the family computer or phone. With the ease of use, devices with internet connectivity and social networking being so easy to use, cyberbullying has just increased so rapidly that it has caught us unaware. Now, we’re not sure how to get back on top of it and educate parents and young people to help stamp it out.

John Carr OBE: Bullying has been an issue since time immemorial. Cyberbullying is simply a modern expression of it. I think it is very hard to get widespread agreement on what constitutes ‘cyberbullying’ and therefore it is not easy to say whether the problem is growing, shrinking or in a steady state. But however much of it is going on, it’s too much. Bullying ruins lives. We all have to be on our guard to help detect it and stop it.

2. How often do you see cases of cyberbullying?

Will Gardner: We’re not a place where people go to if they have a problem – we’re more on the preventative side. We did a big survey last year and 24,000 children replied – one of the issues that came out top was cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is currently the number one issue with both children and teachers.

Tracey Gentle: The first time I was aware of it in school was horrid text messages and emails, but very occasionally. This increased with BEBO and Club Penguin, when primary school aged children would not befriend or play with each other rather than being horrid.  As I left teaching we were regularly contacting parents to say that their children had Facebook accounts and were trying to befriend teachers and using it to ridicule others. This was also happening on the school VLE in blog posts and on discussion boards. In October 2013 the Anti-Bullying Alliance and Slater & Gordon Lawyers reported that 55.2% of children/young people saw cyberbullying as part of everyday life; that shocks me.

John Carr OBE: In every school in the UK, every day of the week, I’m afraid cyberbullying will be taking place.

3. What do you think is the most common reason for children to become cyberbullies? What is the motivation?

Will Gardner: I think it’s difficult to distinguish the motivation between different types of bullying. I think the technology allows children to be more spontaneous. As for motivation, I think it’s very difficult to separate bullying and cyberbullying. It’s just technology being used as a means to bully.

Tracey Gentle: Most will see what they do as a bit of fun, posting a silly picture and others ‘lol’ at it. Only some are purposely malicious and intend to repeatedly hurt (such as cyber trolls). It will often be a group of children/young people that drive such an activity and are usually egged on by the other (peer pressure but no excuse) to send a nasty text or create a post on social networking. It is also an easy way to hit back using technology and possibly look brave and be admired by others for doing it.

John Carr OBE: There is always an explanation for why people choose to bully others. The hard part is working out what that is for each individual. Glib generalisations rarely help to advance our understanding.

4. Do you think you can turn e-safety into a positive message for using technology?

Will Gardner: If you are imagining the world with no bullying, that would be comprised of children who can use technology safely, and respect their community. We want to create a community of children who use technology like this. We want people to feel positive about technology, instead of using it to scare people. The scaring message doesn’t have the longer term impact we want. It’s important that we are positive about technology and the opportunities it provides – events like Safer Internet Day help with this.

Tracey Gentle: It should always be a positive message. I always taught children/young adults to use technology in a positive, creative and constructive way. Collaboration is important and we regularly worked on creating web pages and wikis. I related the school rules to online use. They all knew what happened if they upset/hurt someone in the playground and that would also happen to them if they were horrid to someone online or posted something silly. The children really enjoyed making avatars to represent them online and understood why they did so. I told them I was empowering them to take control of their online self.

John Carr OBE: I look forward to a time when we don’t talk about e-safety ­at all, either because there is no need to or because it’s so widely accepted as part of normal everyday prudence and good manners.

5. What do you think are the potential consequences of cyberbullying?

Will Gardner: The consequences are – 1. The same as bullying – loneliness, isolation, low self esteem – but there are some things about technology that people need to be aware of. The anonymity can make it that much more distressing for the victim, and there’s the ‘mass audience’ effect too. 2. Closure. Some content can re-appear in other places once it’s out there on the internet. 3. For parents, it’s a very distressing issue, but we want to give a clear message to them schools have an anti-bullying policy so they can help prevent it. Schools are now being inspected by Ofsted for their e-safety measures and anti-bullying policies. If you want to be an outstanding school, this is something that needs addressing.

Tracey Gentle: We have seen how extreme the consequences are in the press and it is not pleasant. At school level we have to give the bully as much time and attention as the victim as there are consequences for both parties. The victim will lose confidence and withdraw into themselves, which will result in poor attainment in school and affect their personal and social life. Hopefully that can be reversed overtime. There will be a reason why the bully has behaved how they did, they may also have been a victim, have a poor quality family life or not be doing well in school.  Often jealousy is the reason with female bullies. These issues need to be addressed, often others will want them to be punished or disciplined and something should happen, a consequence that they understand and will make them think about what they have done. Writing an apology or losing playtime at primary school usually does the trick. If the reason for this behaviour is home based suspending the child/young adult is not always a good thing, they are safe/better off in school. This has to be increased with age and severity of the offence.

John Carr OBE: They can be completely catastrophic for some youngsters. There have been too many suicides which are directly linked to cyberbullying.

6. What advice would you give to schools to help prevent cyberbullying?

Will Gardner: We’ve written guidance for schools already. It’s available if you go to That has steps around preventing and responding – we advise to take a whole school community approach, covering what cyberbullying is, and that it can have a negative impact on everyone.

Tracey Gentle: It is all about educating your pupils and you start as soon as the children start school.  Most will have been using technology for 2 to 3 years at that point. I have seen an 18 month child using an iPad to play games, YouTube videos and FaceTime their grandparents, terrible really but it is happening. Use Safer Internet Day and Anti-bullying Week to reinforce the messages.
John Carr OBE: The issue is bullying, wherever it happens to be taking place. The answer has to be to encourage children to be kind and considerate to each other but also for schools to be vigilant and be ready to step up and support a child who might be being bullied.

 7. How do you think awareness of cyberbullying can be built into everyday e-learning?

Will Gardner: We have the new computing curriculum, which has e-safety as part of it. Education is absolute key – and supporting children, encouraging them to use the e-safety advice and services available.

Tracey Gentle: Many cyberbullying lesson plans have cross curricular links, these messages should not be restricted to e-learning activities or ICT lessons. It is all about being a good friend, pupil, member of your community and a good citizen. What happens in the online world affects the real world.  Once the children/young adults know that what they do can be traced, is recorded for their safety. Knowing this should deter them from cyberbullying as it can also be used against them.  The hidden curriculum also comes into play here, the teaching staff have to be a good role model. You can tailor an assembly or lesson to include a topic that relates to an incident that may of happened in school so giving the whole school the message is less intimidating and can have more value.

John Carr OBE: All teachers know about bullying. Some may not know it can happen online as well as in the playground. We have to change that situation.