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Internet Safety - Welcome Kemp Parents and students!

The Internet is an invaluable tool for learning, but it’s not without risks. As parents and adults, it’s up to us to teach our children how to avoid the pitfalls of cyberspace while mining its riches.

We are all concerned about the safety of our students, families, children and friends. For this reason it is important that we each learn how to use technology (and specifically the Internet) safely.

There is an overwhelming amount of positive information on the Internet for us to access which can help educate and enrich our students, but we must learn how to safely navigate to those resources.
 
It would be difficult to put all of the best practices on this page so we will instead list some of the more important points to remember and provide a list of some excellent resources for parents and students.

Important Internet Safety Tips

Be involved in your child's life and their Internet use.
You should know whom they interact with online, just as you know whom they play with in the neighborhood and at school. The recent public service ads concerning drug and alcohol use are right on target with their message. Be involved in your kids' lives. Know where they are going, whom they are with and when they'll be back. The same applies to online use: Be aware of their activities and be involved. They should be communicating with people you know and approve of. Hopefully you're creating an open dialogue with your children at a young age, and you're working to keep that dialogue active as they grow up. It's much easier to start that way than to try and make up for years of isolating when you finally decide to be involved in what they are doing.

Get the computer into a public area of the house.
Just moving the computer into an area where those who pass through the room can see the monitor will make a huge difference in your family's Internet use. It may seem as though you are helping your child with their homework requirements by providing computer access in their bedroom, but in addition to the risk of dangerous Internet behavior, recent research has shown that the sleep habits of kids are greatly improved when electronic devices (phone, TV, computer, video games, etcÖ) are removed from the bedroom. Sleep cycles of teenage kids are already in a state of disarray and when you encourage behavior other than sleeping in the bedroom this deteriorates more. Getting enough sleep and being well rested are key factors in student success. You get two benefits by removing computers from bedrooms. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Do not ever give out personal information about your child or allow them to do so.
Personal information includes their name, address, phone number, and photograph.  After you've given information to someone online you have no control over where that information ends up. You don't own it anymore - it's free for the giving by whomever you've provided it to.

Help create your children's screen names and avoid anything that will reveal their age, gender, location, etc.
Avoid all suggestive terms or sexual connotations; they are magnets for online predators. You want your child to 'own' their screen name or login ID, so let them be creative with it, but be involved to make sure it does not draw the wrong kind of attention.


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Dave Tarwater,
Apr 28, 2011, 6:38 AM
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