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Talk to your kids: Be 'Cyber Safe' on the Web and with Electronic Devices

The Internet has drastically changed the way that 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 fascinating, new way to connect with the world, the Internet also offers new risks:

  • Cyberbullying

  • 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. By acting as a resource, parents and guardians can help make the Internet a safer place for their families. As a parent or guardian, you should stay well-informed about current issues to understand what your children are experiencing on and off the Internet. If they are social networking, instant messaging, using webcams, or blogging, help them use these tools safely by learning how to use them yourself. Children whose parents and guardians regularly talk to them about personal safety are more likely to exhibit responsible behavior on their own. (Source: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)

Keeping Children Safer Online

Check out these resources for learning how to protect children online:

National Center for Missing and Exploited Chidlren fights to keep children safer from abduction and sexual exploitation, and provides the resources needed to help protect children and prevent crimes committed against children.

NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children and teens how to be safer on- and offline. The site also offers resources for parents, educators and law enforcement.

SafeKids.com is one of the oldest and most enduring websites for Internet safety.

Schools and Parents working together

Teachers in the Hilton School District integrate the lessons of good behavior on the web and other devices in the classroom and computer labs. It is the District's goal to inform parents and guardians of the important role they play in helping their children navigate the web safely: understanding online friendships, learning to use and value the resource of the Internet, and knowing how to appropriately communicate with others online and using other devices. Communication devices and online opportunities take many forms and are available 24-hours a day.  Important milestones for children include learning how to use their time valuably, how to make and keep friends, and how to recognize and deal with 'cyber bullying,' online predators and other issues. Accomplishing this is both a school and a home lesson.