Human Relations Media Blog
Information and Resources for Guidance Counselors & Health Teachers
June is National Internet Safety Month
Posted on May 8th 2013
Every year, computer-savvy students are introduced earlier and earlier to the world-wide web, making Internet safety a crucial component to health curriculum today. Just as children are part of a family community and school community, the Internet is another type of community that requires responsible decision-making from its members.
Problems on the Internet
The Internet Safety Technical Task Force is a group of non-profit organizations, Internet companies, academics and other technology companies that seek to, "...identify effective tools and technologies to create a safer environment on the Internet for youth." Since it's creation in 2008, the task force has released a number of studies which measure the greatest risks the Internet poses for young people. A 2009 study from the task force indicated that bullying, not sexual solicitation of minors by adults, was the most challenging problem.
How to Keep Kids Safe
There are explicit ways to keep kids safe from strangers on the internet; not sharing personal information is key, both on your profile or with anyone in a chat room or message. But what about bullying and sexting? These are behaviors that often result from peer pressure and social hierarchies that don't have straightforward guidelines.
What You Can Do
Talk to your students about staying safe on the Internet. What are some of the problems they have encountered? And how might they overcome those situations? Here are some questions to get the conversation started:
- What are some of the big problems you've heard of on the Internet?
- Are there any issues you've experienced yourself?
- Kids are told not to share personal information. In your experience, do most kids ignore or heed that advice?
- What are some examples of risk-taking behaviors on-line?
- What kind of trouble could you get in to if you engage in those behaviors?
HRM Video offers a variety of videos and print materials on Internet safety. Click here for a complete list of our internet-related topics. Or check out the highlights below: