Internet safety involves protecting oneself from potential risks online. Understanding the harms of the internet means we’re less likely to jeopardize our personal information or well-being. Adopting internet safety measures means we can enjoy the internet without putting ourselves at risk.
Any device capable of connecting to the internet requires that we take internet safety measures.
Why is Internet Safety important?
Our internet usage is ever-increasing, and more and more of our information is stored and exchanged online. Unfortunately, this opens us up to more potential risks, so internet safety is more important now than ever.
Children use the internet to study and socialize, so keeping them safe online is our duty. Any child using smart devices must understand the risks involved.
Potential risks and how to avoid them
Device addiction involves the overuse of smartphones and the internet. Its symptoms include anger, irritability, lack of concentration, and sleeping problems.
We often use smartphones and other devices without paying any attention to the detrimental effects they can have. However, by limiting our usage of devices, turning off notifications, and monitoring our screen times, we can have a healthier relationship with the internet.
With so many different social media and messaging applications, cyberbullying is one of the most serious internet safety issues. Children must report any instances of cyberbullying, whether they’re the victim or a witness. To help prevent it from happening, it’s necessary to maintain a dialogue with children about being kind online. Both important is monitoring online activity and creating an environment where talking is easy.
The internet is a space where anyone can post and share information, so it cannot be easy to know who to trust. Lots of information is false and aims to manipulate and distort the truth. Only trust information from reliable sources and be careful of what you share.
Online gambling is a serious risk, so children mustn’t have access to bank details. Parents can set up security measures to block gambling websites and be sure to talk children through the dangers of online gambling. Any children who use or are aware of others using online gambling sites should report it.
Jeopardizing personal information
Sharing personal information can leave you vulnerable. Whether you accidentally share bank details with a stranger or your child posts family holiday plans on social media, both instances can have damaging consequences. It’s essential to remain cautious and never post anything that could leave you open to harm. Monitoring children’s usage and talking openly about what not to share on the internet will help too.
Speaking to strangers
Strangers on the internet can try to take advantage of children’s vulnerability, which can lead to harmful situations both online and in real life. Parents and teachers should regularly talk to children about who they speak to on the internet. Similarly, children who are contacted by a stranger or come across anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or seems untoward should immediately report it to an adult.
Poor mental health
Overuse of the internet and devices can be detrimental to mental health. On the other hand, limiting screen time, socializing in person, and nurturing habits that don’t require the internet can all benefit children.
Cybercriminals can send emails or messages that appear genuine but contain harmful content. Be wary of any email or letter that claims to be from an organization or a friend that seems slightly off or doesn’t include a personal message. Encourage children to ask an adult before they open emails and messages.
Posts that can be damaging
One social media post can have lifelong consequences, regardless of its intentions. Schools, universities, and employers monitor social media, so an ill-thought-out position carries massive potential risk. Encourage children to be kind and caring on the internet and stress that what they post can have serious implications. If they’re unsure whether to post something, they probably shouldn’t.
Malware refers to harmful software that is often downloaded unknowingly. Malware can allow someone to access personal information or damage your device. It often masquerades as something else, a game, for example. Children need to ask for permission before downloading anything to avoid downloading malware. Good cyber-security software and only downloading from reliable websites will also ensure internet safety.
Facts to help you teach – What is Internet Safety
- Be careful who you meet online – People you meet online are not always who they say they are or appear to be. Alarmingly, they may not even be real! Fake social media profiles are a popular way for hackers to befriend unwary Web users and pick their cyber pockets. So be as cautious and sensible in your online social life as you are in your in-person social life.
- Make online purchases from secure sites – When you make a purchase online, you need to provide credit card or bank account information; this is just what cybercriminals are most eager to get their hands on. So only supply this information to sites that offer secure, encrypted connections. You can identify certain areas by looking for an address that starts with HTTPS: (the S stands for secure) rather than simply HTTP: They may also be marked by a padlock icon next to the address bar.
- Practice safe browsing – Cybercriminals use lurid content as bait. They know people are sometimes tempted by dubious content and may let their guard down when searching for it. Unfortunately, the Internet is filled with hard-to-see pitfalls, where one careless click could expose your data or infect your device with malware. So, just as you would.’
- Be careful what you post – The Internet has no such thing as a delete key, as many unfortunate web users have found out. Any comment, image, or content you post online can stay forever because removing the original does not draw any copies others may have made. You cannot “take back” a remark you wish you hadn’t made or get rid of that embarrassing selfie you took at a party. Don’t put anything online that you wouldn’t want your parents or a prospective employer to see.
- Keep your anti-virus protection up to date – Internet security software cannot protect against every threat, but it will detect and remove most malware, though you should make sure it’s up-to-date. Be sure to stay current with your operating system’s updates and updates to the applications you use.
What is E-Safety?
E-Safety, in its simplest form, means being safe on the internet, as well as the safe use of technology like computers and tablets. However, because technology is evolving at such a rapid rate, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to include when teaching about internet safety.
As a teacher, you will be important in inspiring your children and helping them shape their futures. Still, since computers and the internet have become part of everyday life, you’ll also be responsible for safeguarding your class online and in school.
Unfortunately, the online world can be an awful, dangerous place, so you’ll need to know what to look out for; some forms of online abuse can take shape in many different forms; here are just a few examples:
- Online Grooming.
- Sexual Exploitation.
- Emotional Abuse.
Traditionally e-safety might’ve been the job of the school’s IT team; however, now that the world is so much more digitally dependent, teachers need to be savvy in understanding internet safety and know how to teach e-safety to their students.
Teachers can easily answer the question of What e-safety is by thoroughly educating themselves on the dangers of the internet and how to act responsibly online.
Why is E-Safety Important?
New statistics have shown that 7 out of 10 young people experience some form of cyberbullying by the time they reach the age of 18. These numbers have increased dramatically in recent years due to how much more access children have to the internet and social media; it is now more important than ever that we protect our children from cyberbullies; not addressing the problem leads to children not being able to get away from hurtful comments, as these are said online not just in the playground.
We also need to protect children from being groomed online as not only could this lead to children being coaxed into sending suggestive pictures to the individual, but more alarmingly, the child could be convinced to meet the person that is grooming them; this is one of the many reasons that your children need to understand the importance of E-safety so that they stay safe online.
More recently, parents, teachers, and childcare professionals have spoken up and said that technology and social media companies must improve their platforms. This pressure has seen some success, with Facebook announcing that they plan to appoint an independent oversight committee to decide how its network is managed and what violates its standards.
How to teach smart internet safety
Internet safety rules can be tiresome to hear sometimes, but they are super important to help keep you safe online. The internet is forever changing, so we need to ensure we’re keeping our children safe while they’re online!
5 Smart Internet Safety rules are great for remembering while your students are online.
Safe – Stay safe by never giving out personal information to strangers you meet online. That includes your real name, address, phone number, home address, or school name.
Meeting – Meeting someone you have only met online can be very dangerous, so ensure your parents or a responsible adult is always with you. Even if they are nice the first time you meet them, it is important to know that your parents should be around every time you meet them.
Accepting – Never accept friend requests or open emails from people you do not know or trust. When in doubt, ask a parent if it’s safe.
Reliable – Rely on information from websites and people you know well and trust. It’s very easy to lie online, and people do it more often than you think,
Tell a parent, teacher, or a trusted adult if you find something online that makes you uncomfortable. It is always better to talk to fix an online issue together. That way, you can make sure it will not happen again.