Students need to protect their privacy when they are online. All students are very comfortable using the Internet.
It is essential that students understand and commit to not sharing personal information with anyone they meet online. This includes their real name, address, phone number, financial information, school name, passwords, or other private information. Reinforce that children should talk openly with their parents or guardian about what they see online and should always tell them if anyone asks for personal information or makes them feel uncomfortable. Students must commit to follow the family and school rules set up to keep everyone safe while online.
Suggestions for students and parents:
- Use age-appropriate and monitored environments. Your best bet is an environment limited to kids, with adult monitors. (But remember, just because an environment is monitored, there's little to stop an adult from pretending to be a young person and joining in the conversation.)
- Protect your privacy. This is probably the most important thing for you to remember. Don’t reveal information about yourself, your friends or your family when using your public profile. Set your privacy levels so that only your friends can see anything private, and be careful who you accept as friends. This is especially true for Facebook! Check your privacy settings in the top right hand corner of your page (privacy shortcut)
- Remember that nothing is private on the Internet: anything you post can be copied and reproduced. Many sites also archive or store your material. This the place where many students do not consider the consequences of their actions. If you post something online, you have to expect that it will stay online forever so be VERY CAREFUL about what you post. If your mother was to see your post, would she be okay with it?
- Remember, you're in control. You don't have to respond if someone contacts or responds to you or something you post online. Tell an adult right away and block that person from contacting you if you are being bothered by somebody or they make you feel uncomfortable. Complain about rude or abusive behaviour to the website or service.
- Never arrange to meet someone offline if you met online. You never really know who is behind the online profile that you are chatting or connected with. It is very easy for somebody to not be who they say they are on their profile!