How to Educate Students on Internet Safety

Many students rely on the internet to complete coursework and conduct research for classes. Internet safety education is essential for kids to know how they can remain safe. By teaching internet safety, parents can be sure that their children are only accessing appropriate sites and are informed about possible dangers.

Teachers and parents need to take an active role in discussing internet safety to ensure that students remain safe when they access different websites. They need to constantly monitor the content their children see, talk to them, ask about their conversations online. Establishing a trustworthy relationship with the child is one of the main principles as well. Here are some helpful ways to educate a student about being safe online. 

Minimize Risks at Home

One way to keep kids safe is by minimizing any risks when using a computer at home. Placing it in a central area in the house will allow a parent to monitor online activity. This can help prevent inappropriate site visits. Installing antivirus programs is also a great way to add layers of protection. Many personal devices come with preinstalled options that can be used.

Depending on the age of the student, there are different search engines that can be used. With kid-friendly engines, only appropriate results will be displayed. Another thing that can be done is to set parental controls on all devices. These can include time limits, restrictions on certain websites, and controlling the different apps that can be opened on the PC or mobile device.

While these things will not offer protection when accessing a PC at other locations, they do provide a parent with some form of control. By monitoring online activity, you can keep an eye on what kids are doing and who they are talking to when they are using the internet or social media websites.

Be Aware of Online Predators

The internet is full of predators and younger users will have to learn who to talk to and who they should avoid. Users are able to hide their identities when online. This can present a threat to children and even teenagers. Online predators will lure users into chat rooms and can even try to set up in-person meetings. It is important to teach students to be on guard when using the internet.

Many teenagers are at risk of being targeted by predators. They are eager to be accepted and meet new friends. Teens will often talk with a predator willingly without thinking there is any threat. Be sure to inform kids to avoid talking with anyone they do not know. If that person tries to get too personal, end the conversation.

Predators do not simply try to lure in unsuspecting individuals. There are also individuals who plan cyber attacks. The notion of cybersecurity in higher education has become one of the top priorities because of the online bullying possibilities. Many students have suffered from information being stolen or files being exposed. Data breaches are also an issue at colleges.

Cybersecurity measures can be taken to deter predators from accessing information and from making contact. Using firewalls, antimalware software, and changing online passwords frequently are some things that can be done that can reduce the chances of being harmed.

Cyberbullying and Harassment

Cyberbullying and cyber harassment are a problem on the internet and even those users who are older can fall prey. This can be very dangerous and can occur whenever someone is online. The bully will often remain anonymous, so it can be difficult to take steps to end the harassment.

This form of bullying is something that needs immediate attention. Many students in school who engage in online activities have dealt with bullying. More than 60% of teenagers have experienced bullying online and 70% have reported someone spreading online rumors.

  • Some common examples include:
  • Writing harmful things through texts, online games, or instant messages
  • Posting negative messages on social media
  • Posting embarrassing photos online
  • Creating fake profiles with the intent of causing harm

Any use of technology or the internet to harass, target, or embarrass another is considered a form of buying. It can happen on a PC or mobile device and has many negative impacts on the target.

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Using Social Networks

Many students are social media users and they use different networks on a daily basis. Some popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are used by children, some people use Instagram story maker also. While these are a great way to chat with others, play games, and share experiences, there are also negative aspects involved. Most of these sites will have age restrictions, so be sure your child meets those requirements. These restrictions are in place to protect the privacy of younger users.

With over 90% of teens using social media and 75% of them having at least one active profile, learning how to stay safe is essential. Internet safety and security do not have to be difficult. When it comes to social media, keep posts private, check privacy settings, only add people you know to a friend’s list, and never post anything you do not want others to see.

Conclusion

With so many kids, teenagers, and even older students using the internet daily, setting security measures is essential. Online safety education is more important than ever. There are many things that can be done as a parent to make sure that users are secure. From setting parental controls to using antimalware programs, it is possible to reduce some of these threats.

While there is no guarantee that anyone is always secure when using the internet, informing users on what they should look for and how to react is required. Whether using a PC at your house or in a school setting, these things need to be addressed. Always remember that when talking online, information could fall into the wrong hands.

About the Author

Melanie Patterson is an internet security education specialist who also works at PapersOwl where she is one of the most renowned writers. Melanie is very active on social media advocating for the creation of internet security awareness among parents and teachers. She has created a lot of courses and workshops for parents. They are aimed at teaching the parents to establish the internet safety rules at home that would make their children feel safe and not restricted.