Cybersafety issues are an important part of the school teaching program and teachers are working with their children to make sure they are safe online.
Cybersafety at Home
We all need to make sure our children are safe from harm in the real and online world. When it comes to the Internet we can play an important role in helping children have safe and positive experiences online. It offers an exciting world of experiences for children and family. It can be entertaining, educational and rewarding. However, using the internet also involves risks and challenges.
Children might be exposed to content that is harmful, violent, prohibited or even illegal. They may also experience cyber bullying or be at risk from contact by strangers. They may unknowingly or deliberately share personal information without realising, or that they are leaving behind content that might not reflect well on them in the future.
Often it is not a matter of trusting their closest friends. It may be a matter of opening it up to the friends of friends or others in the house that may gain access to personal information. If we take an active role in talking with our children about the risks and answering their questions about something that they find on the Internet you can help them stay safer online.
There are a number of useful websites to help your child become aware of being safe on the Internet:
- Hector's World
- How Cybersmart are you?
- A Cybersafety Guide for Parents
Social Media - Top Tips for Parents
Talk to children about online privacy issues, making sure they know to never to identify personal information such as their full name, address, age, school and don't ever post photos in school uniform.
Teach your children to respect people’s privacy and don’t share anyone else’s personal information online without permission.
Don’t tag photos of your children at their school if your accounts are not set to completely private. This is a child safety issue as anyone driving past can search the school on Instagram and see all of the photos that have been tagged at the school, often by parents who have not set their account to private on Instagram. If your account is not completely private, anyone can see your photos of your child, their name, the name of the cat, where you go on holiday, what your family does on weekends, when birthdays were and other information about your family and your life. Therefore, a complete stranger could make up a story that could be very convincing to your child by using the information you have shared in a public forum of more than 500million users.
If you are going to post anything with a significant fact, check it first.
Teach your children to understand the importance of passwords, keeping them private and changing regularly.
Learn how to recognise a scam. If it is too good to be true, it probably is.
Make sure the apps you allow your kids to use are age appropriate.
Don’t be patronising or insulting to anyone. This kind of behaviour may validate bad behaviour in children as they often see it if you are connected to young people on social media.
Ban devices from the bedroom from as young as possible. Set boundaries around use.
Share pictures and videos only with consent. And respect the privacy of others.•Keep your love-life and arguments off social media.
Stay positive. If you see something you disagree with – don’t engage.
Consider the fact that children in the background of photos or videos you take at your child’s school may be on“no publish” lists. Some children are in protective custody or witness protection and an innocent photo posted on social media could be disastrous.
Teach young people not to say, or repeat anything that they wouldn’t say if the person were standing right in front of them.
Recognise that other people’s opinions may be different to their own and that does not give them permission to attack those opinions online.
Remember that even an emoji can be taken out of context by someone reading it.
Use your head and your heart. Don’t let emotion be the only thing driving you to post.
Make sure you respect classification on games, they are there for a reason.
Make sure the young people in your care know that under no circumstances they should go and meet up with anyone they meet online. Stranger Danger rules apply because they are now literally on digital steroids 24x7.
Information from www.safeonsocial.com