Internet Safety

Child OnlineThe Internet is a valuable learning resource for students.  They can use it to conduct research, communicate with almost anyone, experience different parts of the world, and express their opinions. Any student who is old enough to type a few characters can literally access the world.

This access can also pose hazards to young students. Inappropriate content, identity theft, and online predators are a few of the dangers that students need to be aware of.

The Parkland School District makes every effort to ensure a safe computing environment for our students. As mandated by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), web content filtering is provided on all student computers.  However, sheltering students from inappropriate Internet sites is not the complete solution.

The following websites are some of the best online resources for students to learn safe computing practices and for parents to recognize the warning signs of potential dangers.

Educating Today’s Digital Natives (CAC presentation – October 21, 2010)

Social Web Tips for Parents from ConnectSafely.org

bNetSavvy : http://bnetsavvy.com

bNetSavvy is a bimonthly e-newsletter offering parents, guardians, and teachers tools to help kids ages 9 to 14 stay safer online.  By middle school, most students are online and using wireless phones — and many adults are wondering how to make sure these technologies help, rather than hinder, kids” safety and learning.  bNetSavvy is packed with first-hand stories, strategies, and tools to help teachers, tech coaches, parents, and guardians engage with young adults to keep them safer.

Children’s Partnership : http://www.childrenspartnership.org

Good site for a number of issues in keeping children healthy and safe, including while online.

ConnectSafely : http://www.connectsafely.org/

Specifically designed for users with Social Networking sites; provides excellent tips and advice for everything from using Foursquare to preventing your child from participating in sexting. Very up-to-date.

CyberAngels : http://www.cyberangels.org/

CyberAngels was founded in 1995 as the first cyberneighborhood watch and is one of the oldest in online safety education. They function as a “Virtual 411″ safety destination, addressing the needs of educators, the concerns of parents, and the vulnerability of children.

CyberSmart: http://www.cybersmartcurriculum.org/

CyberSmart is a free, comprehensive curriculum for teaching Internet safety and social media skills. The lessons cover grades K-12.

Finding Balance in Teen Use of Social Media : http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2006/10/media_usagefinding_balance_in.html

The subject of the talk was teen use of social media such as online social networks, blogs, instant messaging, text messaging. The questions put to me were: How prevalent is the usage? Is this dangerous and isolating? How should we guide kids in this tech-overload atmosphere?

FTC : http://www.ftc.gov/

Your privacy rights as set by government regulation, plus some very good advice for talking to kids about online safety (particularly an article names “Net Cetera” found in their Consumer Protection section).  

GetNetWise : http://kids.getnetwise.org/tools/

Contains a listing of tools to help protect a family’s computer, including child-safe web browsers, filtering software, and virus protection.

iKeepSafe : http://www.ikeepsafe.org/?gclid=CLuS39u204kCFQQdgQodenkj4A

The Internet Keep Safe Coalition group teaches basic rules of Internet safety to children and parents, reaching them online and in school. Governors and/or first spouses formed this coalition in partnership with a growing list of crime prevention organizations, law enforcement agencies, foundations and corporate sponsors.

iSafe :  http://isafe.org/

i-SAFE Inc. is the worldwide leader in Internet safety education. Founded in 1998 and endorsed by the U.S. Congress, i-SAFE is a non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting the online experiences of youth everywhere. i-SAFE incorporates classroom curriculum with dynamic community outreach to empower students, teachers, parents, law enforcement, and concerned adults to make the Internet a safer place.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children : http://www.ncmec.org/

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC, probably the pre-eminent child advocate organization in the country); excellent resource for parents, teachers, and any community member interested in keeping children safe. Great downloads and tips for parents.

NetSmartz : http://www.netsmartz.org/

The NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational safety resource from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for children aged 5 to 17, parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement that uses age-appropriate, 3-D activities to teach children how to stay safer on the Internet.

Safe Families  : http://www.safefamilies.org/

Safe Families is a program of TechMission, Inc. that was formed to assist parents in protecting their children from  dangers on the Internet.

Stay Safe Online Website :  http://www.staysafeonline.info/

Securing your personal computer at home plays a crucial role in protecting our nation’s Internet infrastructure. You’ll find simple steps, practices and resources to learn the basics on how to teach your children to stay safe on the Internet.  This website gives you the information needed to secure your computer. You’ll find practices on how to safeguard your system, a self-guided cyber security test, educational materials and other Internet resources, as well as valuable information from supporting organizations.

Web Wise Kids : http://www.wiredwithwisdom.org/

Web Wise Kids is a nonprofit organization located in Southern California. Since 2002, Web Wise Kids has been committed to teaching children and their caregivers strategies for safe Internet use, including methods of detecting and deterring online predators.

Wired Safety : http://www.wiredsafety.org/

WiredSafety provides help, information and education to Internet and mobile device users of all ages. We help victims of cyberabuse ranging from online fraud, cyberstalking and child safety, to hacking and malicious code attacks. We also help parents with issues, such as MySpace and cyberbullying.