Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship
As part of a Digital Village, we can all do our part to protect our children online.
Learn what you can do to keep your kids safe!
What is Digital Citizenship? We teach our children the difference between right and wrong so they can grow up to be responsible citizens. The world is a much different place than the one we grew up in. With technology constantly evolving, our kids need to learn the dos and don'ts when using technology... what we call Digital Citizenship, to stay safe in our Digital World.
Update: Here's a new Digital Citizenship web page created by N.I.S.D on the rights, roles and responsibilities of a Digital Citizen. This is excellent information for parents, teachers and students. Click here for categories of information.
There are a number of risks and concerns for kids and teens related to technology:
- Exposure to Inappropriate Material
- Sexual Solicitation
- Harassment and Bullying (Cyberbullying)
- Theft and exploitation of Personal Information
- Copyright, Fair Use and Plagiarism
How do you protect your children?
- Establish rules for Internet use
- What sites can your child visit?
- Who can they talk to?
- How long will they be online?
- Where can they use a computer?
- Keep the computer in a common room (not a child's bedroom)
- Password protect computer logon with an adult login
- Be careful of your child minimizing or closing windows when you are nearby
- Discuss the importance of telling you or a trusted adult if something ever makes your child or teen feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused while online
- Communicate with your child
- Prepare yourself beforehand
- Talk and be open with your kids and teens
- Keep discussions non-judgmental
- Keep your cool. Encourage them to confide in you.
- Be Informed
- Learn everything you can about the Internet
- The following web sites are excellent resources
- Safety awareness of children (ages 5 - 17) to prevent victimization and increase self-confidence whenever they go online.
- NS Teens
- Great videos and comics geared towards teens about social networking and cyberbullying
- "Let's Fight it Together" - a Cyberbullying Film
- Ask your kids to show you places they go.
- Learn chat room lingo by going to Netsmartz411 for a list of acronyms.
- Require your child to give you their password to any online. accounts. Be aware that they may have more than one myspace or other account... one for you to see and another for their friends or others to see.
- Follow through by periodically logging on and checking their online activities.
- Consider Safeguarding Options
- Check out blocking, filtering and rating applications.
- Learn how to check the computer's history.
- Look into monitoring software - it's your right as a parent.
- Education is a key part of prevention.