Summer is almost here and for many of us that means playdates, camps, and all sorts of fun activities. We want everyone to have relax and enjoy themselves, but we also want everyone to be safe. One the areas that we hope our students use their common sense and guidelines taught by their teachers and parents is safety online.
When we think about summer, usually we envision lots of outdoor time and, weather willing, beach time! Unfortunately, even Mother Nature needs a day off from the the sun to water the plants and trees. It’s on those rainy, cloudy days that you may have a chance to play online. Here are few guidelines to stay safe when you are watching your favorite YouTube videos, investigating your interests/hobbies, and trying out some new games.
No matter what games, channel, or video you are watching, never give out personal information such as your name, age, where you live, or your phone number. Don’t even give out information that may help someone find you like the name of your town or school. Along this same line, don’t give out your picture – even if the person claims to be your age. You have no idea who is at the other end of the connection.
Follow Your Family’s Rules
Whether you agree or disagree, the rules your mom and dad put forth are there for your protection. This might include who you can connect with, what you can watch, and the hours you can use the computer. Never agree to get together in person with anyone met online without parent approval and/or supervision.
If you see or hear something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, tell an adult. This includes posts on social media and chat rooms that may or may not include your friends.
For parents: Kids Health – Internet Safety online has put forth some red flags that you may want to be aware of in case you believe that your child is being targeted by an online predator. These can include:
- spending long hours online, especially at night
- phone calls from people you don’t know
- unsolicited gifts arriving in the mail
- your child suddenly turning off the computer when you walk into the room
- withdrawal from family life and reluctance to discuss online activities
Have a safe and enjoyable summer. We will see you in the fall ready to start a new adventure!