Internet and Social Media Safety
The Internet and social media have dramatically changed the way children interact with the world. They have access to in-depth knowledge, tools to express their creativity, and people from all over the world. Yet along with offering a new way to connect with the world, the Internet and social media also offer new risks, including:
- Exposure to inappropriate material
- Online predators
- Revealing too much personal information
- Learning to recognize the warning signs of these risks will allow trusted adults to intervene and lessen potential negative impacts.
Source: NetSmartz, a resource of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Tips for Staying Safe Online
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following strategies for parents and educators:
- Talk to your child. Parents ask their children where they are going and who they are going with whenever they leave the house. They should take the same approach when their children go on the Internet—where are they going and who are they with?
- Develop rules. Together with your child, develop rules about acceptable and safe behaviors for all electronic media.
- Explore the Internet. Visit the websites your child frequents, and assess the pros and cons. Most websites and on-line activities are beneficial. They help young people learn new information and interact with people who have similar interests.
- Talk with others. Talk to other parents about how they have discussed technology use with their children.
Connect with the school. Parents are encouraged to work with their child’s school and school district to develop a class for parents that educates about school policies on electronic aggression and resources available to parents.
- Educate yourself. Stay informed about the new devices and websites your child is using. Continually talk with your child and explore the technology yourself.
Source: Violence prevention information from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Social Media 101
Get the basics on social media, including tips for parents and videos explaining the different types of social media platforms out there.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Learn how to protect your child.
Information regarding cyberbullying from stopbullying.gov.
Find parent guides on topics ranging from Cyber Security, Medial Literacy, Educational Technology and Student Data Privacy.
Internet safety guidelines from connectsafely.org.
Find guides on a variety of topics ranging from online shopping, social media safety, cyberbullying, and identity theft.
Internet Smarts: Surfing and Shopping Safely Online
Report tips and safety concerns using Colorado Safe2Tell, the 24/7 Anonymous Reporting Tool
Call 1-877-542-7233 (SAFE) or make an anonymous report at www.safe2tell.org.