Our yearbook students have been exploring ways to help keep children safe online. In our latest TCS Blog, the students take the lead as they share what they have discovered about the safe use of technology. Enjoy these great tips!
In today’s social media and technology-invested world, there is a lot to think about and be aware of for your children. There are steps you can take to ensure your child’s safety online.
Here are 4 things we as middle school students remember to do to keep safe when online, and suggest parents encourage their children to do as well:
- Online Responsibilities
While being online and using technology, it is important to remember that we have responsibilities to ourselves and to others. While using technology, we must represent ourselves well and only post things that we are okay with the public seeing. We also have the same responsibility to others. Get permission from others before posting or tagging them on the internet. Be conscious that there are scammers and people who intend to cause harm online. Being cautious online is important because we have a responsibility to keep ourselves and other people safe.
- Safe Password
It is very important to have a safe password. If you don’t have a safe password, things like getting your account hacked, personal information being exposed and more might happen. To prevent this, we can come up with a safe and strong password. To make a safe password, use capital and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and make your password be at least 8 characters long. A bad password uses obvious phrases like 1234, or “password”. Using a password with very few characters or one everyone knows is not safe.
- Media Balance
According to ReidHealth.com, kids should spend less than 2 hours per day on technology. However, the average time people spend on technical devices is 4.8 hours or more per day. Digital devices can keep kids up late at night, for example, by scrolling through Instagram or watching Netflix. Kids should not be on their phones an hour before they go to bed so their minds have a chance to relax.
Technology can affect kids’ social and personal lives. Phones can distract from normal, in person, conversations. The urge to look at the notifications when you’re in the middle of doing something else can cause tension. Adults can help their kids have limited phone use by giving them an allotted screen time. Screen time limitations allow kids to disconnect from their phones and not let their lives revolve around them. Having time to disconnect from devices helps kids be involved in more activities with family and friends. They will be able to sleep easier, socialize with friends, and enjoy their lives more.
- STOP Responding to Online Meanness
If you ever experience online meanness, remember the phrase, “STOP”. STOP means step away, tell a trusted adult, OK sites only, and pause and think.
For more information on this topic please check out commonsensemedia.org.