The Internet has drastically changed the way that children interact with the world. Internet safety has become a fundamental topic in our digital world that applies to students of all ages. Students have access to in-depth knowledge and tools to express themselves right at their fingertips. Along with offering a new way to connect with the world, the Internet also offers new risks such as safety concerns for students. Students need to know about Internet privacy and learn how to tell the difference between behaviors that support a healthy interaction with others, inappropriate contact, and ways to keep themselves safe online.
Rules For Internet Safety:
1. Always ask permission to go online or when downloading from the Internet.
2. Don’t give out your full name, address, phone number, school, or pictures to people you are chatting to online.
3. Don’t talk online with people you don’t know.
4. Tell your parents or teachers right away if you see something inappropriate or something that makes you uncomfortable.
5. Keep passwords private.
6. Don’t open any links in emails that look strange or unfamiliar. It may contain a virus that can harm a computer.
How Do I Teach My Students What To Do If They Are Contacted By Strangers?
Sometimes we have a “gut feeling” about uncomfortable situations that arise on the Internet, however sometimes it is harder for children to distinguish between their gut feelings and their trusting nature of others. You can teach students to use a traffic light analogy (green = okay, yellow = iffy, red = risky) to help them understand online scenarios (e.g., if someone asks for a photo, talks about inappropriate things, asks them to keep anything a secret, bothers them, etc). Although teachers feel that students can rely on “stranger danger” feelings, not every situation has that kind of response. These scenarios may also happen with people your students know or people your students know very little about. Stress the importance that students have the power to end conversations and log off the Internet at any time, and not let anything prevent them from talking to a teacher, parent, or family member if they get into a situation that makes them uncomfortable.