Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Future Digital's monitoring software. Please feel free to contact us if you can't find the answer to your question below.

What is e-safety?

E-Safety ensures that young people can access the digital world in a safe and protected way. E-safety is mainly concerned with safeguarding young people’s use of information and communication technologies such as social media, web search and email ensuring that they don’t encounter inappropriate or harmful content and behavior.  

What does the software do?

Based on word and phrase capture our software captures harmful or concerning activity or behaviour that occurs while students are using your school's ICT. Activity can be captured both through keyboard or on screen activity meaning that the the software monitors all ICT activity both on and offline. Words and phrases captured are part of a series of pre-defined libraries that sit within the software. This is also referred to as active monitoring.

What type of activity or behaviour is the software monitoring for?

The software monitors for concerning or problematic behaviour that may be exposing one of your students to risk. Potential risk can manifest in a number of forms and can be something that is self-inflicted, inflicted on another student or may come from an outside influence.

Specific risks that the software monitors for include:

  •  Peer-to-peer cyberbullying.
  • Instances of grooming including radicalisation and sexual threats.
  • Inappropriate or harmful behaviour on social media apps.
  • Exposure to racist, homophobic or extreme language.
  • Inadvertent exposure to inappropriate web content such as sex, violence or radicalisation.
  • Deliberate access to inappropriate web sites.
  • Accessing online gambling and shopping sites.
  • Alerts institutions to real world issues that young people may be experiencing e.g. domestic violence, neglect etc...

It is always really important to remember that many of the incidents that are identified in the online environment have lasting real world consequences.

How do new updates to Keeping Children Safe in Education affect my school? Is my school required to have a monitoring system in place?

As of the 5th September online monitoring is now a mandatory legislative requirement as part of new updates to Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) guidelines. An increased emphasis on online safety in the guidelines means that by law all schools must have an appropriate and effective monitoring system in place.

The use of technology has been identified as a significant component of many safeguarding issues including: radicalisation, child exploitation and sexual predation. The guidance calls for all schools to employ effective online safeguarding mechanisms in order to empower children and safeguard them against online danger.

Compliance will now be inspected as part of Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework.

Why does my school need to monitor for signs of radicalisation and how can Future Digital help?

Since the 1st July 2015 all UK schools are required to monitor for signs of radicalisation in students in order to fufil their Prevent duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This means that by law all schools need to be able to demonstrate how they are  ensuring that children and young people are protected from exposure to radicalisation and extremist influences. The Internet has been identified as one of the key ways that young people are exposed to terrorist and extremist content and influences. As a result of this legislation Future Digital's monitoring products all feature a hardwired module designed to monitor for words and phrases related to radical and extremist causes. Our software is fully compatible with the legislation and can help your school to demonstrate your compliance and show that you are fulfiling your duty of care.

What devices does Future Digital's active monitoring software cover?

Currently our Futures Cloud product offers active montoring support for PC and Mac. In addition we provide a safe browser, Futures Browser, that can be used on iPad devices.

How is Future Digital's active monitoring software different from other monitoring products on the market?

Future Digital's active monitoring software is different to other solutions on the market as our products provide a unique Auto Pre-Grading Feature. This leading edge feature of the software performs a real-time ‘risk’ analysis of new captures and automatically applies a grade that indicates the severity of each word captured. This capability ensures that teachers and safeguarding managers can instantaneously assess instances of potential risk at a glance. Auto pre-grading vastly reduces the time teachers and safeguarding managers spend on risk assessment and decreases the possibilty of a potentially high risk incient being missed.

What predefined libraries does Future Digital's software include?

Our libraries include:

  • Acronyms
  • Drugs and Addiction
  • Network Security and Piracy
  • Pornographic Content
  • Sex Words and Slang
  • Predators and Strangers
  • Strong Swear Words
  • Mild Swear Words
  • Racism and Violence 
  • Suicide and Health
  • Prevent (words and pharses related to radical and extremist activity)

You have complete control over your libraries and can turn libraries off if they are not relevant. For example you may not wish to monitor for mild swear word in the case of older students. The only library that this does not appy to is the Prevent library. The Prevent Duty is a legal obligation of all schools and therefore cannot be turned off.    

Where do the words and phrases in Future Digital's library come from?

Our libraries are developed and updated on an ongoing basis by the Future Digital team with the help of third party support. We know that language and jargon is always changing and so are continually working with the help of our partners to to keep our libraries current. Some of our sources include but are not limited to:

  • International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, Kings College
  • Internet Watch Foundation, 
  • Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU) - Office for Security and Counter Terrorism
  • The Police 
  • Department for Education
  • Customer knowledge base
What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is a form of peer-to-peer bullying which applies to children and young people using digital technologies such as the Internet. It can happen through any device such as computers, tablets and mobile phones and on a wide range of platforms including social media, by email or text message. Cyberbullying takes the form of tormenting, threatening or harassing behavior and has real and damaging psychological emotional outcomes similar to those of real-life bullying. 

What is a violation?

A violation is when a user-defined word or phrase is used triggering an alert by the software. A violation can occur whether users are ON or OFF line* ensuring that all concerning behaviour is recorded. 


*No only do Future Digital products capture activity within Internet applications – browsers, search engines, email, chat rooms and instant messaging  we also monitor the content of all other Windows applications such as zipped files, password protected Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations as well as portable devices such as USB Flash Hard drives.

Will the students know they are being monitored?

We advise that schools include the presence of the software as part of their Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). One of the key benefits of using Future Digital's active monitoring software is to help increase knowlege around online behaviour. In this way school leaders can learn more about their students online activity in order to help educate and shape positive digital behaviour. In addition the software can be configured to alert users when a violation has occured, again, helping them to understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.

What is an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)?

An acceptable use policy (AUP) is a document that outlines a set of rules to be followed by users of a set of computing resources. An AUP clearly states what the user is and is not allowed to do while using these resources. Each organisation has a right and a duty of care to monitor computer usage in order to protect users. AUPs are normally displayed when a user logs on to a computer or network and details the ways in which the ICT resources can and cannot be used. An AUP might include information reminding users that logs are kept of websites visited or a pledge by users not to attempt to access unsuitable material.

What is a capture?

Each time a violation is triggered either through the keyboard or on the screen the software will take a screen shot of the screen recording exactly what has happened on screen.

Does the software allow me to filter or block inappropriate content?

Yes, our software is fully customisable to give you complete control over your digital environment. 

Can I set immediate alerts for particularly concerning activity?

Yes. As well as having access to an automated data engine which contains a range customisable violation libraries such as pornography, profanity, violence, racism and drugs, Future Digital’s solutions allow you to add concerning words and phrases such as bespoke slang and set an alert for these.

Can I schedule activity reports?

Yes, we understand how essential time management is and therefore Future Digital products let you decide how often you would like to receive user activity reports. This can be increased or decreased as needed and remember you can set your own parameters to alert you to specifically concerning behaviour ensuring your e-safety environment.  

Can I monitor a specific user or user group?

Yes, Future Digital’s solutions are entirely customisable giving you complete control over which group of users and what behavior you want to monitor, at what times of the day, and how the software should respond to violations.

Where is data captured by Future Digital stored?

Future Digital’s chosen supplier for G-Cloud services is Microsoft Azure who provide industry-leading commitment to the protection and privacy of data. Microsoft Azure is compliant with each element of the 14 Cloud Service Principles and is assessed annually by a Government Digital Service (GDS) accreditor

Microsoft Azure services are compliant with the ISO:IEC 27001 standard and provide comprehensive data processing provisions to UK customers, incorporating EU Model Clauses as provided under Europe’s data protection regulations.  

All of our data is stored in Microsoft Azure data centres in Northern Europe.

Who is in control of data captured by my school?

As part of provisioning our active monitoring solution to your school we act as a Data Processor but your school remains in control of all Data apart from where a separate contract is in place that includes the provision of third party data processing. The only time we will look at your data is at your express request or in the instance of helping you to resolve a technical support issue logged with our technical support team.

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