Technology Department » Internet Safety

Internet Safety

Staying Safe in the Digital World

The Internet is a great place full of information and fun. But just like any adventure, it's important to know how to stay safe. This guide will give you simple tips to make sure your online journey is a secure one.
Key Points for Safe Internet Use
  • Watch Who You Talk To: Just like you wouldn't talk to strangers on the street, be cautious about people you meet online. They might not be who they say they are.
  • Guard Your Information: Keep personal details like your home address, phone number, and school name private.
  • Be Aware of Cyberbullying: If someone is being mean or making you feel bad online, don’t respond. Tell an adult you trust.
  • Click Wisely: Not all links are safe. Avoid clicking on links from unknown sources to protect against viruses and scams.
What to Do When Things Get Tricky
  • Leave If Uncomfortable: If a website or a conversation makes you feel uneasy, leave it. You don't have to stay.
    Tell Someone: If you’re worried or upset about something you've seen or someone you’ve talked to online, talk to a parent, teacher, or another adult you trust.
  • Ignore and Block: If someone is bothering you online, you can block them. Most websites and apps have a way to block users from contacting you.
  • Think Before You Share: Be careful about what you post or share online. Once it's out there, it's hard to take back.
Staying Mindful on Social Platforms
  • Understand Anonymity: Remember, you are not truly anonymous online. What you post can often be traced back to you.
  • Be Kind and Respectful: Treat others online as you would in person. Avoid saying hurtful or harmful things just because you're behind a screen.
  • Privacy Settings Matter: Use privacy settings on social media to control who can see your posts. But even with privacy settings, it's best to assume that anything you post could be seen by anyone.
  • Pause Before Posting: Think about the impact of your posts. Ask yourself, "Is this something I would be okay with everyone seeing?"
Building Smart Online Habits
  • Verify Before Trusting: Don’t take everything at face value. If a story or offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always double-check information.
  • Think Twice About Sharing: Be mindful when posting photos or personal information. Once something is online, it can be difficult to remove.
  • Respect Others: Treat people online as you would in real life. Kindness and respect are important, no matter where you are.
  • Report Problems: If you come across something dangerous or upsetting, or if someone is being inappropriate, report it to the website or a trusted adult.
Guiding Your Kids in the Digital World
As a parent, you play a crucial role in helping your kids navigate the online world safely. Here are some tips to help you guide them:
  1. Computer in a Common Area: Keep the family computer in a common area like the living room. This way, you can casually see what your child is doing online and it encourages open communication.
  2. Set Ground Rules: Establish some basic rules about computer and Internet use. Decide together what's okay and what's not, like which websites are safe to visit and how long they can spend online.
  3. Learn the Technology: Try to understand the websites, apps, and games your child uses. If you’re not familiar with them, ask your child to show you how they work. It's like learning the rules of a new board game they enjoy.
  4. Monitor Online Activities: Be aware of the sites your child visits and who they talk to online. It's not about spying; it's about staying informed and being involved in their online life.
  5. Talk About Online Relationships: Know who your child is interacting with online. Discuss these relationships openly and guide them on how to interact safely.
  6. Spend Time Online Together: Explore the Internet with your child. It can be a fun bonding activity, and you can guide them as they explore.
  7. Lead by Example: Set a good example with your own Internet use. Show them how to interact online respectfully and safely.
  8. Open Communication: Encourage your child to come to you if they encounter anything online that makes them feel uncomfortable or unsure.
    By being actively involved and maintaining open lines of communication, you can help ensure your child has a positive and safe experience online. It’s all about guiding them on this digital journey and learning together!

Additional Resources

  • StaySafeOnline: Managed by the National Cyber Security Alliance, providing comprehensive resources on cybersecurity and Internet safety.
  • FTC Kids Online Safety: The Federal Trade Commission's resource page for keeping children safe online.
  • NetSmartz: An educational initiative from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, offering resources on online safety for kids.
  • FBI Safe Online Surfing: The Federal Bureau of Investigation's program for children to learn about Internet safety in a fun and interactive way.
  • Common Sense Media: Offers advice and reviews on digital media for families, focusing on Internet safety and digital citizenship.
  • Cyberbullying Research Center: Provides resources for understanding and addressing cyberbullying effectively.
  • KidsHealth Internet Safety: Features age-appropriate articles on various health and safety topics, including Internet safety for children.
  • Managed by the Federal Trade Commission, this site offers tips on guarding against Internet fraud and protecting your privacy.
  • iKeepSafe: Dedicated to providing a safe digital experience for children, with resources for parents, educators, and policymakers.
  • Internet Safety 101: A program by Enough Is Enough, offering resources and education to prevent Internet-initiated crimes against children.