Photo of Alan Mackenzie who is an online safety specialist

Online safety has been a passion of mine for a very long time; I love technology and the huge benefits that can be realised through global connectivity and collaboration.  I’m a strong believer that online safety is an enabler, not a showstopper; it should not be a barrier to innovative use of technology. I’m a heavy user of social media, have been a gamer since my early 20’s and I love YouTube. In other words, I use all the things children and young people use; I understand their online spaces, and when I’m in schools or speaking at a conference this is exactly what I’m talking about. 

I strongly believe that if you educate children using the spaces they engage in, they understand more, they’re more enthusiastic, they engage and therefore the likelihood of positive impact is greater.

Alan Mackenzie

Online Safety Specialist

For many years I was the online safety lead at Lincolnshire County Council, raising initiatives across all schools, police, the voluntary sector and others with positive outcomes and a significant increase in online safety awareness

I work very closely with Lincolnshire Police and the detectives within the POLIT team (see HERE and HERE). I became a CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) Ambassador in 2008, which was a great starting point, but the world is changing rapidly, technology is diversifying at an extraordinary rate and almost all behaviours can be enacted online.  So whilst online safety is predominantly about safeguarding, the wider aspects of citizenship, behaviour and wellbeing must also be a focus.

I am a founding member of the Association for Adult and Child Online Safety Specialists (AACOSS), an associate member of the UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS), and I also partner with other companies and charities who share the same ethos as me in order to spread the word that online safety is something that can be positive and empowering.

I work with hundreds of schools nationally and internationally and speak at a range of national conferences, but I also like to get involved with projects on behalf of other companies and charities, such as the NSPCC and their Net Aware service and Internet Matters, to assist in areas they may not specialise in or give advice, which includes reviewing new products on the market to advise on online safety or safeguarding issues, writing whitepapers or articles on a range of different subjects, or to get involved and advise on new educational initiatives.

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