Cyber Safety Parent Page
Useful Information and Strategies to Keep You and your Children Safe Online
The Internet offers a world of opportunities. People of all ages are:
- posting video from mobile devices
- building online profiles
- texting each other from their mobile devices
- creating alter egos in the form of online avatars
- connecting with friends online they don’t see regularly in person
- sending photos to friends
- broadcasting what they are doing to hundreds of people
These ways of socializing and communicating can be fulfilling, and yet, they come with certain risks:
- Inappropriate conduct.
- The online world can feel anonymous. Kids sometimes forget that they are still accountable for their actions.
- Inappropriate contact.
- Some people online have bad intentions, including bullies, predators, hackers, and scammers.
- Inappropriate content.
- You may be concerned that your kids could find pornography, violence, or hate speech online. You can reduce these risks by talking to your kids about how they communicate – online and off – and encouraging them to engage in conduct they can be proud of.
Talk to your kids – it’s the best way to protect and educate them.
Advice for Parenting in a Digital World
Teach kids the skills they need to use technology wisely and well. It’s hard to gate-keep in a world with no fences. Parents have lost control of the flow of information to our kids who see too much, too soon. We no longer hear conversations or see what our kids create and share with others. Since we cannot cover their eyes, or shadow them everywhere, we need to teach them how to see and how to behave responsibly.
Help them self-reflect before they self-reveal. This doesn’t come naturally to kids — and certainly not in a world where anyone can be a rock star on YouTube.
Explain the essential facts of how the digital world works. They understand cut and paste. But wait until it happens to them!
Keep an open mind. We don’t see the world the way our kids do. We don’t help our kids when we judge their lives through the lens of a non-digital world. It’s important for us to understand that our kids will spend their lives in a connected world where everyone participates in communication and creation.
Don’t be afraid. Parents can’t afford to be technophobic. Our kids adopt technologies faster than we do. That means they’re often way out in front of us. This fact upsets the parent/child relationship. So get in the game. Have your kids show you how to do something if you don’t know.
Share wisdom. Kids don’t understand the implications of their actions. But we do. We have to remember to extend our basic parenting wisdom to the digital world. We teach kids to use their words, play nicely with others, respect their teachers – now we have to extend that to a vast, invisible world.
Pass along your values. One of the most important jobs of parenting is instilling in our kids the values we cherish. But in a world where actions are often divorced from consequences, where kids can be anonymous, and where they aren’t face-too-face with the people they communicate our kids can lose their way. As parents, we have to be able to translate our values into the digital world and help kids understand the implications of their actions.
Seek balance. It’s hard to know how much freedom to give our kids. We want them to explore, enjoy, communicate, and create. We also want to be sure they are protected or they know how to protect themselves. If our kids are going to thrive with digital media, we must balance the negative with the positive, privacy with protection. As our children grow, they need more independence and privacy. But parents have to be sure kids know how to be safe and responsible before letting them loose. Our kids need to see both the possibilities and the perils so they can act responsibly and seize all that is wondrous and have it enrich their lives as people and citizens.
Helpful Links to Keep You and your Children Safe Online:
- Connect Safely
- A Parent’s Guide to Facebook– a 34-page guide – downloadable – with a link about
- Facebook Safety Tips – Video from learntobesafeonline.com on setting up safe settings on Facebook.
- Safety Tips for Smart Video Gaming
- FaceBook Privacy Settings for Teens
- How to Hide your Facebook Friends List– also see below for tips on what you are sharing publicly on Facebook
- How to Prevent Sexting – sexting is sending sexually explicit or harassing phone texts
- Cell Phone Safety Tips – smart ideas for cell phone use
- Tips to Stop Cyberbullying
- How to Recognize Grooming – grooming is online manipulation by predators
- Social Web Safety Tips for Teens
- NetSmart Safety Tips
Visit: **ConnectSafely**, **SafeTeens** & **NetFamilyNews**
Surfing the Net with Kids – great articles and advice about such topics as:
- Top Ten IPad Apps for Parents
- Protecting your kids from Social Mapping
- Should you Friend your Teen on FaceBook
Family Safe Media – a quick guide to check your home computer for offensive sites in the history and cookies
Other Top Ten Reviews for the Family Home Computer:
WiredSafety – a great site for parents on a myriad of topics
Stop Cyberbullying.org – A brief video outlining what Cyberbullying is
Mock-Up MySpace Page – find the 10 safety problems on this page
Google Family Safety Center – includes YouTube Safety Mode, SafeSearch & Cell Phone SafeSearch
16 of the Best Internet Safety Sites to use with Children – From iLearn Technology (really for educators – but parents are their child’s #1 educator!)
CommonSense Media – a site for parents and educators to help evaluate the movies, games, Apps, etc. that are out there for kids to use
CyberSafety is part of the district K-12 Library Curriculum
Internet Safety Guidelines taught to our Elementary Students:
- Do not give out personal information such as your address, telephone number, parents’ work address/telephone number, or the name and location of your school without your parents’ permission.
- Tell your parents, teacher or adult right away if you come across any information that makes you feel uncomfortable.
- Never agree to get together with someone you “meet” online.
- Never send a person your picture or anything else without first checking with your parents.
- Do not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make you feel uncomfortable. It is not your fault if you get a message like that. If you do, tell your parents or teacher right away so they can contact the service provider.
- Talk with your parents so they can set up rules for going online. They will decide on the time of day that you can be online, the length of time you can be online, and appropriate areas for you to visit. Do not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.
- Do not give out your Internet password to anyone (even your best friends) other than your parents.
- Check with your parents before downloading or installing software or doing anything that could possibly hurt your computer or jeopardize your family’s privacy.
- Be a good online citizen and not do anything that hurts other people or is against the law.
- Help your parents understand how to have fun and learn things online and teach them things about the Internet, computers and other technology.
Brief Outline of Topics taught at the Middle & High School Level:
- Bullying and Harassment
- CyberSafety – Facebook & Internet
- Social Network Etiquette – Netiquette
- Cyber Law
- District Code of Conduct
- Online Predators
Code of Conduct for the Averill Park CSD
The Averill Park Central School District has a Code of Conduct which outlines expectations for student behavior, and possible penalties for breaking the code of conduct. Ethical cyber behavior, both in-school and out-of-school is outlined. View the Code of Conduct