INFORMATION AND ONLINE SAFETY ADVICE
ABOUT THIS PAGE
This page is designed to help learners who has just been issued with a laptop for the first time to get to grips with it, get online and surf safely.
Welcome to your new laptop, we hope that it helps you to learn and stay in touch during the difficult time. On this page we have collected resources for learning as well as guidance to help keep you safe when browsing the web. We know you’re probably keen to get started but please look at the keeping safe information and using data information below before getting started.
The laptops are provided by the Department for Education, if you have any technical concerns you can visit their page here.
GETTING ONLINE WITH DATA
One of the things that we want to stress to you is to be careful of how much data you are using online. Data is just a way of counting how much you have used the internet. Just like your kettle uses more electric than a light bulb some activities can use a lot more data than others. The figure we need to check is our ‘data allowance’ which is typically measure in GB (or ‘Gigabytes’) and has nothing to do with your connection speed (typically in MB which is a measure of how fast you can use up your data).
As companies have the ability to charge you for using more than your agreed allowance we would recommend you check with these companies if you have limited WiFi. If you do it is best to try to limit your usage.
Examples of data usage (these are rough estimates and can vary on the speed of your connection)
1000KB = 1MB
1000MB = 1GB
Email attachments: 1-10MB
Whatsapp audio call: 12MB per hour
Web surfing: 50MB per hour
Zoom: 1 – 2GB per hour
Youtube: 2- 16GB per hour
WIRED INTERNET AND WiFi
If you internet is provided by a landlord then speak to them directly about any concerns over usage. If you have a contract with any company, check their website for Covid updates and terms. Many of these providers have removed their data caps during COVID-19 meaning you can surf without restrictions. It is best to call your provider or check their website though to see if this applies to you. Some links are provided below
Mobile internet is internet provided by a mobile phone or MiFi device. This is when a company provides you with a sim card and the data comes through mobile telephone radio towers (not to be confused with WiFi which also uses radio but is just a way of connecting to nearby wired internet). Your mobile device will have a variety of tools to control your usage but it is even more important to check your contract with your provider as mobile phone bills can become very expensive if you exceed your agreed limit.
If you need to find a contract to let you study from home we would recommend a pay as you go unlimited contract which can be had for around £25 per month from Lebara or Vodafone. This is expensive but, if you choose the pay as you go option, doesn’t tie you in to a contract and could help you get through this difficult time. A separate device called a MiFi can be purchased, this lets you plug the sim card into it and provides WiFi in your house.