COVID-19

Internet Safety for Children

 

We must keep our students safe as they use online learning. They are full of fantastic potential and vulnerable to exploitation and crime as they expand their horizons in the physical world and online. It is up to us as teachers and parents to protect them from those risks. The Internet offers so many opportunities to learn and grow, and if we take precautions, we can ensure their time online remains positive.

 

  • Communicate with your children about what is and is not proper contact and behavior online. Spend time with them, looking at their favorite websites. Maintain access to your child’s accounts, passwords, and email, chat, or message system.

  • Control the amount of time and the hours of the day your child is online. Children are most vulnerable during evening hours when potential offenders expect them to be online and possibly unsupervised.

  • Keep your computer in a shared room in your home so that what is on the screen is visible. Find out what the monitoring practices are at friend’s houses.

  • If you see anything inappropriate in your child’s interactions, contact local law enforcement immediately. It is also essential to let your child’s teacher know.

  • For more information on risks and preventions, visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website, www.nwtsmartz.org.

 

Preventing Harassment or Bullying

Along with your child’s risks of being exposed to inappropriate interactions with strangers online, many children are subjected to bullying via seemingly family-friendly venues such as Facebook. Monitor your children’s interactions and encourage them to tell you if they receive messages among their friends of classmates online.
 

Protecting Secure Information

Your involvement not only protects your child online, but it can also protect your family’s home and financial security. Experts encourage people who spend time on the Internet to restrict sharing information that might allow a pedophile or identity theft access to your family’s lives. Habits as simple as sharing a home address, phone number, or school name could provide details that may lead an offender to your home either virtually or physically.


Websites

www.netsmartz.org

www.pbskids.org/webonauts

www.webwisekids.org

www.safer-internet.net

www.connectsafely.org

 

Remember to check the privacy and security settings of your computer, mobile device, and cell phone to protect your children and your family’s privacy.
 

Bibliography

State Senator-- 16th District, editor. “Internet Safety for Children.”

 

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