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Prince of Wales School Wednesday, February 23, 2011. SAFETY IN CYBERSPACE.

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Presentation on theme: "Prince of Wales School Wednesday, February 23, 2011. SAFETY IN CYBERSPACE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prince of Wales School Wednesday, February 23, 2011. SAFETY IN CYBERSPACE











12 Cell Phones When you think about your children’s online activities, do you consider their cell phones? Children can send and receive images, e- mails, texts, and instant messages from their phones, which many parents and guardians do not monitor. However, you should consider cell phones an extension of the Internet and employ the same safeguards. Enabling Cyberbullies Cell phones make it easy for children to talk with their friends, but they also make them vulnerable to cyberbullying. Cell phones can be used at anytime and anywhere, giving cyberbullies unlimited access to their victims. Children may send and receive mean-spirited phone calls, texts, and picture messages at any hour. Enabling Predators Predators also know and take advantage of the fact that cell phones let them talk with their victims at anytime. They are also aware that parents and guardians often forget to monitor children’s cell phones. While some predators ask children for their cell phone numbers after meeting them online, there have been some cases where predators try to connect with willing children by sending texts to random numbers. Enabling Sexting “Sexting” is a term used to describe the sending of sexually explicit text or picture messag of minors by minors. What most young people do not realize is that the production, possession, and distribution of explicit photos of minors, even if they are self-produced, may be illegal. Furthermore, if these explicit photos end up on the Internet, children risk embarrassment and could jeopardize scholastic, athletic, and employment opportunities. less Is your child counting down the days until he or she is permitted to have a cell phone? Or are you already negotiating minute and text message allowances? Whichever stage you may be in with your child, these tips will help you set rules for safer cell phone use. Review cell phone records for any unknown numbers and late night phone calls and texts. Remind your child that texting is viral—anything sent in a text can be easily forwarded and shared. Teach your child never to reveal cell phone numbers or passwords online. Talk to your child about the possible consequences of sending sexually explicit or provocative images or text messages. When shopping for a cell phone for your child, research the security settings that are available

13 Help children blog safely Does your child have a blog? Use the blogging rule of thumb! Never post anything in a blog that you would not want to share with everyone you know. Establish guidelines with your child before allowing him or her to blog, such as reviewing your child’s blogs before posting. Ensure that your child is using privacy settings. Have your child remove any identifying information from all postings—full names, ages, locations, phone numbers, and school names. Caution your child about the dangers of posting inappropriate or provocative information or images. Once something is posted online, it cannot be taken back. Encourage your child to come to you if anything on the blog site makes him or her feel uncomfortable. Help protect children from bullying Bullying is often seen as an unfortunate, but natural part of adolescence. However, pediatrician Dr. Sharon Cooper warns, “Cyberbullying can affect the social, emotional, and physical health of a child.”[1] For these reasons, it is important that parents and guardians take steps to help their child deal with and respond to cyberbullying.[1] Tell your child not to respond to rude e-mails, messages, and comments. Save the evidence, such as e-mail and text messages, and take screenshots of comments and images. Also, take note of the date and time when the harassment occurs. Contact your Internet service provider (ISP) or cell phone provider. Ask the website administrator or ISP to remove any Web page created to hurt your child. If harassment is via e-mail, social networking sites, IM, and chat rooms, instruct your child to “block” bullies or delete your child’s current account and open a new one. If harrassment is via text and phone messages, change the phone number and instruct your child to only share the new number with trustworthy people. Also, check out phone features that may allow the number to be blocked. Get your child’s school involved. Learn the school’s policy on cyberbullying and urge administrators to take a stance against all forms of bullying. Make a report to, and if you feel something illegal has occurred, inform law

14 Help children game safely Parental involvement is critical when it comes to helping children game more safely. Take an active interest in the games that your child plays and wants to buy. You can research games’ ratings and content on This website is maintained by the Entertainment Software Rating Board which rates thousands of games each Know which safety features are available on the gaming equipment that your child uses—a headset may have voice-masking features, for example. Keep gaming consoles in an easy-to-supervise location and be aware of other places where your child may be accessing games. Tell your child never to give out personal information while gaming or agree to meet anyone outside of the game. Teach your child not to respond to anyone who is being rude or bullying while playing the game. Set rules for how long your child may play, what types of games are appropriate, and who else may participate. Have your child check with you before using a credit or debit card online. Check to see if the games your child plays have reporting features or moderators. Help protect children from predators There is no greater risk to a child’s safety than an online predator who wishes to meet in person. Help teach your children to identify predators’ methods for online enticement. Your child should NEVER meet face-to-face with anyone they first met online without your permission and/or attendance. Take an interest in your child’s online activities and know with whom he or she is communicating. Teach your child to refrain from talking about sex with anyone they meet online. Do not hesitate to ask questions, especially if your child is acting suspiciously. Teach your child not to reveal personal information. Approve all photos and videos before your child posts them online. Make sure they do not reveal identifying information and are not sexually provocative or inappropriate. Look for warning signs. If you feel your child is in danger, make a report to and contact your local law-enforcement agency

15 Help children maintain online privacy Children can hurt themselves when they reveal too much information. Inappropriate pictures, videos, and conversations posted online may come back to haunt them. Help your children take control of their personal information with the following tips. Make sure that your child takes advantage of the privacy settings on social networking sites. Pre-approve the pictures and videos your child posts online. Remind your child never to post e-mail addresses or cell phone numbers. Tell your child that passwords should only be shared with parents and guardians. Teach your child not to respond to any e-mails requesting personal information and to delete e- mails from unknown senders. Discuss how to keep screennames and e-mail addresses gender-neutral, appropriate, and free of any information that could reveal identity. Encourage your child to tell you right away if anything happens online that bothers or frightens him or her. Help children use social networking sites safely Social networking sites can have many benefits for children, such as allowing them to explore new interests. Help your children use them more safely by going over the following tips and discussion starters. Check your child’s friend lists to see who has access to his or her profile. Make sure your child knows all friends in person. Teach your child to set profiles to private–but be aware that privacy settings do not guarantee complete privacy. Have your child remove any inappropriate content and photos and delete any personal information. Check the profiles of your child’s friends to see if there is revealing information or photos about your child. Report inappropriate or criminal behavior to the appropriate authority. Most sites have a reporting mechanism for non-criminal behavior. Criminal behavior should be reported through law-enforcement agencies and the CyberTipline ® at

16 Use these discussion starters to get an Internet safety conversation going with your children. The more often you talk to them about online safety, the easier it will get, so don’t get discouraged if they don’t respond immediately! What features do you use on your cell phone? Could you show me how to use them? Have you ever sent a text that was rude or mean? How many numbers do you have stored in your phone? Do you know them all in person? Has anyone ever taken an embarrassing picture of you without your permission? Have you ever taken an embarrassing picture of someone else? What did you do with it? Have you ever talked with someone you first met online on your cell phone? What would you do if someone sent you a text or picture that was inappropriate?

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