Friday, February 10, 2012

Internet Safety: Educational programs for parents and kids

I recently read a Facebook entry by one of my “tween” relatives that disturbed me.  She probably thought it was an innocent remark but to a predator it could have been interpreted differently.  I wanted to find the right words to convey what I thought and provide some good education resources for her and her mom.  In surfing the web, I found a website with some interesting statistics:
Did you know that..?
  • 26% of children report having a public social networking profile.
  • Children of all ages are lacking digital skills –confidence is often not matched by skill!
  • 12% of 9-16 year olds say they have been bothered or upset by something on the internet… however, 56% of parents whose child has received nasty or hurtful messages online are not aware of this.
  • One in eight parents don’t seem to mediate their children’s online activities…while 56% of parents take positive steps such as suggesting to their children how to behave towards others online.
  • 44% of children think that parental mediation limits what they do online, 11 per cent say it limits their activities a lot.
Here are some safe Internet resources I found - please share them with your children, family and friends.We all have a role to play in ensuring that every child is safe online.

A Parents' Guide to Facebook a soup-to-nuts guide to Facebook privacy settings, profile settings, group settings.

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 how to be safer on- and offline. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement.

PBS Kids offers the Webonauts Academy in which elementary school students can learn about safe online behaviors.

Through the Wild Web Woods games teach children about potential dangers online and how to avoid them.