Children and minors should always talk to their parents / teachers or a trusted adult about their online activities.girl-with-balloons3_small

Here are few things to have in mind when it comes to cyber safety

1. Identity Safety

– Sharing your address, phone, social security, bank info, and password places you at risk for identity theft.
– Online copies can be copied and altered.
– Phishing scams look to ‘hook’ you into giving out your personal information.

2. Social Networks

– Think before you post; your profile represents you!
– Set your profile to private.
– Know who is on your ‘friends list’.
– Don’t be shy; report offensive postings.
– Meeting F2F (friends from  social networks) is risky; don’t do it or take a trusted adult.

Students are often connected with people they do not know. Once they hit share, their post goes out to their network, their network’s network, and so on. Remind students that if they would not share information with a stranger on the street, they should not share it online.

3. Cyberbullying

– If you wouldn’t say it F2F, don’t say it online or pass it on.
–  Don’t respond to or meet with a cyberbully.
– Save proof: text messages, e-mails, screenshots, IM logs, blogs, etc.
–  Tell a trusted adult who can:

• file a complaint with the online provider.
• contact the cyberbully’s parents.
• contact a lawyer or file a small claims action.

Social networks give students courage they do not have in face-to-face environment. Sometimes that courage can lead to negative and dangerous consequences / situations. In most cases, this is considered cyber-bullying, which most students agree is a problem. Encourage your students to refrain from any posting anything they wouldn’t say to a person’s face.

4. Cyber Predators

– Never respond to messages that make you feel uncomfortable.Kids Love Caboose
– Report improper activity to a trusted adult or the CyberTipline at: 1-800-843-5678, 24/7.

5. Piracy and Plagiarism

– Downloading, copying, or sharing  music, movies, photos, or “warez” without the creator’s okay is illegal.
– When downloading, use sites that  have permission of the artists or are  copyright free.
– Copying and pasting without citing  is plagiarism.
– Follow “fair use” regulation.

6. Inappropriate Content

– Use the back button or turn off the screen if you find material that makes you uncomfortable.
– Don’t download suspicious files.
– Use school-friendly search engines and sites; ask your teacher or librarian for help.

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