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Student use of Web 2.0 technologies is expanding, along with incredible opportunities for interactive educational activities there are a host of risks and concerns. However, student safety and lack of teacher knowledge about how to use Web 2.0 technologies effectively remain barriers for many districts. Students need to know what the risks are, know how to avoid risky situations, how to detect whether they are at risk, how to respond effectively, when to ask for help, and how to make good choices.
Issues related to youth risk online and Internet use management is a major concern for most school districts. Many young people competently use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner. A need to gain information and skills necessary to become a competent Internet user still exist for the majority of young people. Comprehensive strategies must be developed to ensure the safety of young people. Schools and parents need to take advantage of the opportunity to dialogue with students and build an online safety awareness to remind the students about safe, ethical, and secure Internet use.

Online Video Game Safety

Today's kids begin to use the internet early to play games usually by age 5. They progress to collaborating with peers by ages 9 or 10, move into the social media arena around 11 or 12 and are fully emerged in multi-player games by the age of 13. It is essential to teach online safety tips to children as early as possible to avoid future issues.
Woogi World helps students learn the dangers of online gaming
Game to teach kids to avoid cyber attacks:

Cyberbullying and Internet Safety

Cyber bullying affects many adolescents and teens on a daily basis. Cyber bullying involves using technology, like cell phones and the Internet, to bully or harass another person. Cyber bullying can take many forms:

  • Sending mean messages or threats to a person's email account or cell phone
  • Spreading rumors online or through texts
  • Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages
  • Stealing a person's account information to break into their account and send damaging messages
  • Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person
  • Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet
  • Sexting, or circulating sexually suggestive pictures or messages about a person

Cyber bullying can be very damaging to adolescents and teens. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Also, once things are circulated on the Internet, they may never disappear, resurfacing at later times to renew the pain of cyber bullying.
It is essential for students to develop skills to help them avoid being the victim of cyberbullying.
Game for K-5 "Operation Safe Surf"

Resources: Cyber Threat Game Operation Safe Surf Game Woogi World

Social Media

My Space, Twitter, Facebook,...
children who use Social Media sites are at risk for:
  • being a target of pedofile
  • identity theft
  • sexual harassment
  • cyberbullying
Video introduction to Internet Safety

Safeguarding Home Networks

A home wireless network provides the Internet to all of your devices in your house. You don’t want to leave your wireless connection “open”, or unprotected, to anyone nearby who you don’t know. You should make sure that you secure your wireless network so that only the people in your home can connect to it. A home network can be made-up of multiple computers, video game systems, printers, and storage devices. To safeguard your home network means to protect it from viruses, spyware, and hackers who may try to access your personal information. A user can take steps to safeguard a home network. These steps include, but are not limited to keeping up with Windows® updates, install anti-virus and anti-spyware software onto your computers, and to make sure your wireless network is encrypted.

Some websites to learn more about safeguarding your home network are:

Available Internet Sites and Newsletters

There are many available websites on the internet that provide helpful hints to parents and educators concerning safe usage of the internet by younger people. Below are a few resources to investigate about Internet Safety. There are many articles, examples, and actual newsletters created by organizations and school districts that you can pull information from.

Chat, Instant Messaging

It only takes one click to leave an unpleasant situation online! Don't hesitate to simply log out or close the chat or instant messaging window.
What you say in a chat room or through instant messaging is LIVE. You can't take it back! Think before you respond. Resist the impulse to rage or flame back if someone angers you.

Predators follow a typical method to lure teens. They typically begin in group chats, request a move to a private chat, then begin initiating instant messaging requests, sending emails, making phone calls, and finally make invitations to meet in person. Be wary if an online relationship is moving through this sequence of contact!

Encourage tweens and teens to be "SMART" when online:


Chat/Instant Messaging Resources:
Chat Danger
Chat Safety @ Safe Kids
Protect Kids

Parent Tips and Resources

Develop Rules at home:
  • Never give out personal information online (name, address, age, phone, etc.)
  • Get permission to login to chat rooms; limit time in chat rooms
  • Monitor instant messaging buddies or contacts
  • Keep the computer in a public area of the home
  • Monitor web cam usage
  • Discuss online activities regularly, over dinner perhaps
  • Install blocking or filtering software from your ISP
  • Establish time limits on the Internet - daily, weekly
  • Know how to access the history, cache, and cookies on your computer
  • Discuss school Internet usage online with projects or accounts

Establish good rapport:
  • Talk to your tween or teen! What do they do online? Who are they talking to, gaming with, friending?
  • Be reasonable, set reasonable expectations. Remember teen needs for autonomy, curiosity, self-esteem,
  • Be involved. What interests them online, where do they surf?
  • Be familiar with the tools. Chat with your teen, friend them on Facebook, use instant messaging. Understanding the tools and applications helps build a good relationship.
  • Be open. Be approachable if your teen asks questions or hints at something that's happening online. Listen closely.
  • Don't panic. Don't immediately impose harsh consequences when online behavior issues arise. Building trust and respect goes a long way toward guiding your teen with safe online behaviors.
  • Report continual suspicious activity to local police.

Know the lingo:

Sample Acronyms - dig deeper

Texting, chatting, blogging, posting to a you know what your teen is saying?
  • Become familiar with online acronyms and emoticons
  • Keep online acronym lists handy for deciphering
  • Use acronyms and emoticons with your teen

Learn Net Lingo!
PLOS - Parent Looking Over Shoulder...
Visit transl8it to decipher acronyms!

Parent Resources:
Protect Kids
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Safe Teens
Net Lingo
Get Web Wise

Follow us! Delicious Stacks created by Louise, Chris and Kellie

All Internet Safety Resources @ Delicious

Safeguard Home Network

Net Lingo

Parent Tips

Internet Safety Night 3
Internet Safety Night 3

Other Resources: