Identifying Kids at Risk: A Deeper Dive into Online Grief in the Winter Months
In September 2018, we released our first quarterly social impact report. We described Securly’s products and services, and how they spotlight real issues kids face today – anxiety, depression, and other mental health struggles. Securly’s technology surfaces what schools can do to address student’s needs, as well as situations where they can actively intervene to help a student in crisis. This quarter’s report examines the progression of these students from fall into winter and highlights Securly’s impact on the schools and students they serve.
Securly’s mission is to keep kids safe online. As the leading provider of cloud-based web filtering and device monitoring for schools, Securly is on the front lines of the secret digital lives of students with unprecedented visibility into their daily struggles.
School districts using Securly’s solutions serve more than 10 million students across the United States, as shown:
Securly’s Technology Reviews 55 Million Messages A Day
Securly’s AI technology continuously scans emails, web searches, social media posts and more to identify and flag for mentions or suggestions of suicide, self-harm, bullying, or violence. In Q4, Securly’s Filter and Auditor products scanned more than 55 Million online activities daily.
AI + Trained Human Analysts = 3 Minutes to Alert and Save Lives
Securly provides a unique service, called 24, combining advanced AI technology with human analysts trained in student safety and emergency response. These analysts review flagged emails, searches, and Google documents to notify schools of imminent dangers. In the past quarter, the service flagged 23,063 emails, searches, and posts for messages mentioning self-harm, depression, suicide, or violence.
Securly’s average 24 response time of 2.8 minutes allows schools to act quickly to save a student and intervene in a potentially life-threatening situation. In Q4, Securly technology and school leadership partnered to save more than 100 lives and impact an increasing count of major self-harm and bullying incidents. Securly’s streamlined emergency alerts system allows schools to quickly respond and intervene when a child is in imminent danger. Here’s an example of a Securly alert with the details necessary for schools to determine whether immediate intervention is needed:
*An alert sent by a Student Safety Analyst to a school concerning suicidal searches from a student.
A Holistic View of Online Activity: At School and At Home
Securly understands that dangerous activity doesn’t stop after 3 PM. Securly released technology to integrate parents with schools in partnership to have a holistic view of each students’ online safety. Securly allows districts to provide parents a view into their child’s online activity on their school device at any time of day via the SecurlyHome app. Parents have visibility when the student is at home, and district admins are on the lookout when they’re at school.
As of December 31st, more than 50,000 parents are live on the SecurlyHome app, with 10,000 weekly active users on average engaging and interacting with the app and its features.
Holidays Bring Extra Pressure for Students
“The data shows that students find the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas to be a difficult one. They’re dealing with end-of-semester pressure as well as the stress of the holidays. 46% of the lives saved in the fall semester came from this period alone.”
– Kathleen Boehle, Director of Student Safety Operations
Case Studies: Securly in Action
With Securly’s 24 service, schools are alerted within minutes when a student is in danger of suicide. Securly’s AI flags the messages, and a trained student safety analyst is there to make sure that the school is able to intervene in time.
Signs of Trouble: A Student in Crisis
On November 5th, 2018, Securly’s AI flagged a student searching for “how to kill yourself”, “how to commite suicide wothout anyone knowing”, and “how can I kill myself without anyone knowing” on Google. A student safety analyst immediately reached out to the school in question to alert them of the situation. When the analyst didn’t hear back right away from the school, they contacted local police and asked them to do a wellness check on the student. A few days later, the Chief of Student Services at the district reached out to Securly letting us know that the police had found the student in crisis and that they had been admitted to the hospital for treatment.
*Securly’s technology sends analysts alerts for messages of bullying, violence, self-harm, and suicide.
Suicide Prevention: Looking Beyond the AI
A district began using Securly’s 24 service on December 10, 2018. Later that night at 9:30 PM, a student from that district was flagged for searching “painless way to kill yourself”. In the minutes that Securly’s analyst investigated, the student proceeded to visit a suicide prevention chat line, watch a Youtube video titled “What is the most painless way to commit suicide under $20,” and visit http://www.lostallhope.com, a website that provides detailed instructions for those who wish to take their own lives.
Upon reviewing these searches, a Student Safety Analyst from Securly immediately contacted the school, who conducted a wellness check on the student. The district followed up with an update on the situation, including the student’s explanation that they had clicked on the wrong link in a social media app. Securly’s analyst informed them that since the student had made actual Google searches, that was likely not possible.
News: Securly in the Media
We are honored to be featured in Forbes.com’s round up spotlighting Securly’s artificial intelligence technology and the company’s balance of privacy and security when monitoring and flagging concerning messages from students. Says Vinay Mahadik, CEO, “There’s just so much societal and regulatory anxiety around what’s happening, particularly in the U.S. Schools and parents are dying for a solution that allows them to be in touch with kids a little more than they had to 10 years ago.”
Vinay Mahadik also spoke to Cheddar about the work that we do to keep kids safe online and how the company will scale following their $16M Series B funding.