Keeping Your Child Safe Online
APM 1300 - Information and Computing Technology - Acceptable Use Guidelines for Students
Technology a wonderful research, homework and communication tool for students. It can also present a host of risks for our youth including online predators and bullies.
You can help protect your child by keeping the lines of communication open and creating rules around computer and phone use. Find out more about privacy and technology on the Learning & Technology page.
No action is foolproof, but there are steps students can take to protect themselves online and lessen the chance of becoming the victim of unsolicited messages:
Never give out personal information, passwords, PIN numbers etc. Remember that personal information includes your name, age, e-mail address, the names of family or friends, your home address, phone number (cell or home) or school name. Choose a user name that your friends will recognize but strangers won't (such as a nickname used at school). This will help you to identify yourself to friends and lets you know who is trying to communicate with you. Do not submit or post pictures of yourself to any website, including your own. These can easily be copied and posted to any other website. Passwords are secret. Never tell anyone your password except your parents or guardians. Do not respond to "spam" or unsolicited e-mail. Set up e-mail and instant messenger accounts with your parents. Do not respond to, or engage in, cyberbullying.
Tips to keep kids safe online
Here are some tips from the Government of Ontario to help promote safe, responsible online behaviour:
- Encourage your teen to let you know if they come across material or receive messages that make them feel uncomfortable or threatened.
- Report threatening or inappropriate messages to the police and your Internet service provider.
- Get to know which websites your teenager visits the most and visit them yourself to ensure there is no offensive or questionable content.
- Make sure your teenager has adjusted the privacy settings on their social networking accounts so that only friends can see their photos, comments or any information they post.
- Remind your teenager that anything posted on a social networking site can be seen by anyone -- parents, teachers or future bosses.
- Remind your child to get permission from others, including friends, before posting pictures of them on social networking sites.
- Remind them to be safe and responsible online: they should not use the Internet to spread gossip, bully or threaten others. When teens stay safe and treat each other respectfully online, they contribute to a more positive school climate.
Read more about the Ministry of Education's safe and accepting school initiatives.