The best Internet safety means teaching responsible Internet use
Protecting privacy is a bigger issue than predators
Because kids create as much as they consume, they must learn how to create and communicate safely
Remind kids about safety basics: keep personal information private, use privacy settings, don't share passwords
Remember everything on the Internet can be seen by a vast, invisible audience
Anything can be copied, pasted, altered, and sent to friends of friends of friends
Whatever gets created creates a digital footprint that lasts
Kids should only post things they'd feel comfortable if their parents, teachers or friends saw it
For a long time, Internet safety stressed 'stranger danger.' But studies have shown that only kids who were already inclined toward risky behavior were the ones likely to get into trouble. Instead, Internet safety is more akin to being a responsible driver. Kids need to understand the rules of the road so they can maximize their privacy and minimize the risks of damaging their reputations.
1. Keep personal information private.
2. Use privacy settings and don't share passwords.
3. Kids need to think before they post because anything can be copied, and sent broadly.
4. What goes around comes around: no humiliating posts.
5. It's best to self-reflect before self-revealing.
It's up to parents and teachers to help kids become responsible and honest citizens of the future. That means they have to be able to apply the lessons they learn in life to their online and mobile lives. Be kind, be honest. Don't do something that would harm another. Make sure you know who and what you can trust. Be careful about what you reveal to others. We teach our kids these things every day. Let's remember to extend our parenting wisdom to their online and mobile worlds. This way we raise safe, responsible kids who can enjoy the amazing powers offered by these amazing technologies.