Digital Threat Assessment was developed through the need to keep pace with the ever-evolving technology challenges that face our students currently. These challenges have entered the education domain with force and have overwhelmed school district staff throughout the world. The goal is to give attendees a stronger understanding of the current social media world, tools to be able to proactively identify student safety concerns, and provide strategies for dealing with online situations as they arise. All aspects of school safety and threats to schools now involve a social media or online component and we need to be prepared.

Successful threat and risk assessments can only occur if we have a solid understanding of all data needed to appropriately assess an individuals’ potential for violence. In 2020, an overall assessment of risk cannot be determined without looking at social media and online activity. It is imperative to understand the tools and methods available to you to identify online threat related behavior. Real life case examples will be used from our subject matter expert work across North America and a significant portion of the day will be spent doing hands-on searching exercises through the most current social media sites and applications.


One of the most common Digital Threats we are assisting on: A post on Snapchat saying there is going to be a school shooting. What are your next steps…..?

You will leave this training with a better understanding of how to deal with this!

Learning Outcomes:

Current State of Affairs in Social Media: A Safe Schools Perspective

  • What we are seeing from a provincial, national, North American lens
  • How social media continues to impact school safety, culture and climate of our schools
  • How to crowd source localized and time relevant social media posts from your school and area
  • Mental health and social media: linkage?
  • Tools for emergency management: Social media data collection in critical time periods
  • Where to start looking to find as much relevant content as possible before it disappears. For example – a bomb threat, school lockdown, school shooting threat
  • Working with Law enforcement in contacting social media companies to obtain critical information during exigent (i.e. articulable life/death) circumstances.

Application of Digital Threat Assessment Theoretical Foundations

  • How the fundamental principles of Behavioral Threat Assessment apply to online
  • How to effectively assess whether an individual poses a risk to a target based on information from the online world

Current social media platforms – their use and misuse and associated risks

  • Detailed overviews of the most popular and least common (but important) Apps
  • Live walkthroughs and hands on activities
  • Snapchat evolution: basics and advanced
  • Instagram: hashtags, best practices and location based searching
  • Identifying, responding and preventing cyberbullying and online hate
  • Impersonation and defamation accounts: best practice for removal
  • Current best practices for teams dealing with sexting and sextortion related incidents as well as guidelines around education and awareness

Online verification and authentication of images

  • Using free online tools to ascertain whether a photo/image is unique or stock
  • Exercises that will test your eyes to notice the small details within online photographs
  • Screen capturing and documenting online content for both evidentiary and school safety purposes

The vast data landscape from smartphones, search engines and social media

  • Tracking capabilities and data stored
  • Examining metadata of photographs
  • Best practices for documenting and preserving important digital
  • Boolean search operators, cache data and google alerts


  • Don’t use your personal accounts!! Solutions and best practices
  • Facebook privacy checkup: implications and fundamentals
  • Staff safety: things to know
  • Safeguards to protecting yourself and your family’s personal information

As an administrator in a large independent school, I have been involved in numerous situations involving technology over the years. As the proliferation of cell phones and social media platforms increased, I began to feel less confident in being able to navigate the cyberworld that is so familiar to our students.

To increase my confidence, I enrolled in the day-long ‘Digital Threat Assessment’ course offered by Safer Schools Together. The course far surpassed my expectations in providing me with the trends of today’s digital world, and the tools to make sense of them. The course was so impactful because it taught me the skills and then provided realistic scenarios for me to apply them.

An unexpected bonus came after the course in the form of shared resources on diverse topics that will surely come in handy in future situations.

The next time that I find myself investigating a situation connected with technology, I know that my new competencies will be invaluable.

I enthusiastically recommend the ‘Digital Threat Assessment’ course to school administrators and to anyone who is looking to understand how technology is being used by teenagers today.

Gary Sylven, Assistant Headmaster, Rundle College Society

If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled trainings and your district would like to host an in-house training please contact us direct at and we will be happy to discuss your options and provide a proposal.