Internet Safety for Students
The internet is a great way for students to learn about the world around them, and talk with friends and family. Kids can enjoy using the internet, but it is important to remember some safety rules. Parents and teachers can help when it comes to internet safety for students. Safe ways to use the internet can be applied in the following areas: surfing, communicating, online gaming, and downloading music.
Surfing the internet means to search for information about something, either for homework, or just for fun. Always ask a parent before using the internet. The computer at home should be located where your parent can see what sites you are visiting. If a strange window pops up on the screen, do not click on it. This can install programs that can harm your computer. Tell a parent right away. Parents can buy computer programs, called parental control software, that filter what sites are available on the internet. This software blocks out content that parents don’t approve for their kids. Ask your parents to keep your anti-virus protection up-to-date to protect you and your computer also.
Communicating online refers to email, instant messaging, chatting, and blogging. All of these have the same safety rules:
- Never give out personal information, such as your real name, address, or phone number.
- Never agree to meet someone you met online; tell a parent if someone asks you to meet them.
- No bullying online. Don’t say something in an email that you would not say to the person’s face. Treat other people the same way you want to be treated.
- Don’t share your password with anyone except your parents.
Email is a fun way to send messages to friends and family. Parents can check on their kid’s email easier than other forms of internet communication. Kids eight years and up can use email with parents’ permission. Some sites provide kids-only email that filters out adult-oriented ads. You should not open email or attachments from someone you don’t know. Viruses can be sent to your computer this way. Instant messaging is not for kids under age twelve, and chat rooms should no be used by anyone under fourteen. Chat rooms can be very dangerous, as anyone can pretend to be someone they are not. Sometimes older kids may want to write a blog about their daily lives. All of the above safety rules should be followed and no rude comments should be posted.
Social networks allow people to post what happens in daily life and talk with friends they know in real life. These sites can be unsafe, as a stranger could read your post and find where you are located. The entire world can read these sites; social networks are not for kids under fourteen.
Online games are popular among students. Know the game rating - some games are too violent for kids, or show adult material. Children should have a time limit for playing games on the computer. It can be hard to stop playing once you start. Never use an email address to sign in for an online game, and do not use any personal information. Strangers play these games also and could see your information.
Music, videos, TV shows, and more can all be downloaded from the internet. Ask your parents before downloading anything. Most downloads ask for a credit card, so parents should be involved. Music sites usually offer labels on songs, so parents can find out if the songs are appropriate. Software that allows people to share music and videos without paying is against the law.
Internet safety for students is important and kids should learn all they can about it. Tell your parent or teacher any time something strange happens while you are online. Students can have fun and be careful at the same time.