Internet Usage - A Guide For Parents and Students
The Internet is an extraordinary resource that links our children to a world of information, experiences and ideas that might otherwise be unavailable to them. However, the Internet can also expose your children to numerous risks, and it is crucial to remember that when a child is online, his or her safety may also be on the line. Just as you have taught your child basic safety rules for the physical world, you should also teach your child basic safety rules for the virtual world. Here are a few basic rules to go by:
1. Place your computer in an area where you are best able to monitor online activities
2. Take an active interest in your child's online activities
3. Warn your child never to reveal any identifying information such as: last name, ethnicity, age, address, phone number, school name, parents' names, parent' employers or work addresses. Caution your child that predators and con artists are expert at accumulating incremental amounts of personal data until thy eventually obtain enough information to locate a user
4. Warn your child never to arrange an in-person meeting with someone met online
5. Warn your child never to accept anything sent to him or her by a person met online
6. Warn your child never to post online a photo of any family member. Explain that online images may be altered or "morphed" and used on, for example pornographic sites
7. Not everything posted online is true. You must always consider the source. Remember that online, as in real life, you must evaluate the reliability of a source in determining the accuracy of the information it provides. Just because you are reading it on your computer screen does not mean that it is true
8. Don't accept everything that you read on the internet as true. Think about the source of the information when you evaluate its reliability
What to do about Cyber-Bullying
The first thing to do is to report any bullying to a trusted adult (teacher or parent). All pupils should feel confident in reporting bullying to an adult.
Bullying of all kinds can often be sorted out by the school. We are able to speak to those involved and work with them to sort out any problems. However, because Cyber-Bullying is happening outside of school, it may be more appropriate to get the police involved at an early stage.
Replying to any form of cyber-bullying is not a good idea. It can confuse the issue and can also be tracked and reported by the other person! Keep any evidence (either printed or stored electronically) and use this when reporting the incident.