Sunday, May 20, 2012

Driving in the Cyber Lanes - Lesson 4 Protection Against Cyber Bullying

Lesson Four - Implement safety measures!


Before handing over a piece of technology to a child or young person, parents and guardians must implement several safety measures. Not doing so is as dangerous as allowing your child to drive a car with a seat belt on! There are many safety measures to consider, but here are a few that are not negotiable. 


1. Make certain that there is filtering and monitoring software installed into the device.
2. Set parental controls when possible.
3. Protect passwords.  Teach children not to share their passwords.
4. Protect profiles. Teach children to limit the amount and kinds of information posted online.
5. If children are using the social sites, utilize the security settings provided by the online social sites.
6. Report abuse to the internet use provider,social site, and/or to the police.


It is extremely important that you talk to your children about the risks and dangers of electronic communication.  Remind them that they are traveling in places they have never seen or are even aware of.  Talk to them about the hundreds and thousands of strangers who might be viewing their words, their profiles, and their activities.  Tell them that if they ever receive any harmful words, messages, or comments, they are to do three things IMMEDIATELY:


* STOP AND DO NOT RESPOND!!


* SAVE AND PRINT OUT THE INFORMATION!


* TELL A TRUSTED ADULT!  


Parents, guardians, and other trusted adults - when children tells you that they have received hurtful, cruel, or harmful messages,texts, etc., do NOT disregard it or minimize it!  Believe them, comfort them, and support them.  This will not go away or get better by itself!  I will give you tips on how to deal with this in later blogs. 


For now, be the adult they need you to be.  Be the parent/guardian they deserve. Let them know you are they to protect them. 

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