Along with the wealth of information and social opportunities that come with technology, danger is also present. Danger is not limited to children with internet predators and bullies, it also includes young adults with crimes such as identify theft. As cell phones and iPads become more prevalent and sophisticated, parents and teachers need to be aware of features on the devices. For an example, social mapping is available on many phones. This GPS technology allows students to pinpoint their friends' physical location or be pinpointed by their friends. Students should be advised to only use this feature with friends they know in person. There are numerous website about Internet safety. Two great sites are: www.netsmartz.org and www.safekids.com. It is never too early or too late to start practicing Internet safety.
Email Safety Tips
- Change your password regularly.
- Do not give your password out to anyone.
- Do not open attachments from people you do not know.
- Log out or sign out when you are finished. Do not leave your account open.
- Do not forward chain emails or reply to spam.
- Do not share any personal information with anyone. Call banks and other institutions when you receive an email requesting information.
- Do not click on links within messages.
The 4 Rs for Internet Safety
- Recognize techniques used by online predators to deceive.
- Refuse requests for personal information.
- Respond assertively if you are ever in an uncomfortable situation online.
- Report to a trusted adult any contact that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Safety Tips for Parents
- Keep the computer/device in a high traffic area in your home.
- Establish limits for which online sites children my visit and for how long.
- Remember to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops as well as computers.
- Surf the Internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.
- Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming and using webcams.
- Continually dialogue with your children about online safety.