What should students do to be safe when using email and the internet?
1. Know your children’s digital worlds – There are so many new sites that youth are using that adults are unaware of. Ask children about what sites they enjoy using. Ask them what they like about those sites.
2. Engage with your children in and around their online activities. Show them you are interested. Observe their behaviors and interactions. ‘Follow’ your kids and their friends. Learn about the rules and norms guiding the practices in these sites.
3. Model and teach critical media literacy. Watch shows together and encourage children to ask questions, discuss media messages and evaluate if these social networks/ads/social norms are sources of harmful or helpful to themselves, others, or the world in general.
4. Think carefully about how and why you restrict access—If you threaten to totally disconnect your child from their online worlds due to cyberbullying or other inappropriate behaviors, you risk preventing your child from confiding in you or sharing information about what is going on in their lives. Discuss potential consequences for these behaviors in advance so your child understands what they risk for inappropriate behavior, and how their online access may be limited (in hours, supervision, devices, apps) if they violate your agreements.
5. Don’t minimize the importance of online lives & the impacts of online relationships. This is a significant part of young people’s social worlds. Instead of passing notes, going to the mall, and talking on the phone for all hours as previous generations did, they hang out online. Unsupervised time online may expose them to predators and cyberbullies. Adolescents may be particularly vulnerable due to their need for external approval. Respect a child’s experiences and listen carefully when they are ready to share about online experiences. Include them in problem solving approaches. Empower children and youth, to strengthen relationships.
6. Monitor your child’s digital footprint. There are many tools available and support parental monitoring.
7.Monitor your child's digital footprint use resources to help.
Example of a resource: Safe internet usage for kids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJbWA5u8cAY
‘Big Brother’? No, It’s Parents
8. Model and promote open dialogue—Create spaces for open discussion about difficult issues. Many youth experience harassment online due to their body size, perceived sexual orientation, gender, race, disability, and dating/sexual history. Encourage them to speak openly...
- for youth, families, & educators: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/digitalcitizenshipweek
- for teachers: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-citizenship-resources-matt-davis