Archive for the 'Parents' Category

Staysafe.org Website

posted: March 26th, 2006 | by: Administrator

Staysafe.org is a website about online safety for kids and teens. It is supported by a large group of collaborators, including Microsoft, SafeKids.com, iSafe, Net Family News and others. The site also provides resources about online safety for parents and teachers.

Staysafe.org for Kids has online games, a virtual community and interactive activities, which are age-appropriate for elementary students. The site provides online safety guidance through engaging web-based activities.

Staysafe.org for Teens is an upbeat and newsy site. The “What’s Hot” area describes the latest issues affecting teens and their friends in the Cyber World. The “Give and Take” area is a series of articles that examines an online safety issue from multiple/different points of view. The “411” area provides information on a variety of online safety topics, including PC security, protecting personal information, online predators and bullies, and issues with file sharing.

The site is nicely designed, well-supported and provides an excellent resource for kids, teens, parents and teachers to learn more about web safety.

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Safety Lessons by the Media Awareness Network

posted: February 18th, 2006 | by: Administrator

Kids need to understand the unique nature of the Internet.  They also need to develop critical-thinking skills — to protect their personal privacy and safety online.  It is important to teach them to distinguish between fact and opinion,  and to recognize online hate if they encounter it.   

The Media Awareness Network has created educational games and interactive student modules (complete with extensive Teacher’s Guides) to help kids to develop these skills. MNet is a Canadian non-profit organization that has been pioneering the development of media literacy programs since its incorporation in 1996.

The games are:

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Security Tips for Students

posted: November 16th, 2005 | by: Administrator

Posted on Microsoft’s Home Security Child Safety Page

1. Perform basic computer safety maintenance

Before surfing the Web, you should perform three key maintenance steps to help improve the computer’s security. Visit our Protect Your PC section and follow the steps online to:

* Use an Internet firewall.
* Update your computer.
* Use up-to-date antivirus software.

2. Don’t open files from strangers

E-mail and instant messaging (IM) are two quick ways to communicate with friends, classmates, and family. E-mail and IM can also spread viruses and worms if you aren’t careful. Did you know that most e-mail viruses are spread by people who are fooled into opening an infected file? Don’t be tricked! You should never open a file attached to an e-mail or an instant message unless you recognize the sender and you are expecting the file. For more articles on helping to avoid viruses and worms, visit Help Prevent Viruses. For tips on safer IM, read Instant messaging safety and privacy tips.

3. Help fight spam and online scams

As long as you’re helping to prevent viruses and worms, you may as well learn how to help fight spam and online scams. To find out how you can spend more time on schoolwork and fun, and less time on deleting spam, read How to prevent spam e-mail from reaching you and Spam dos and don’ts: What to do with spam e-mail.

Phishing is another threat to your privacy that could lead to the theft of your credit card numbers, passwords, account information, or other personal data. To learn how to help protect your personal information from identity theft, read Help prevent identity theft from phishing scams.

4. Learn how to protect yourself from spyware

Has your Web browser been taken over by pop-up ads? Are there toolbars on your computer that you don’t remember downloading? You might be the victim of spyware. Spyware is software that collects personal information from you without first letting you know what it’s doing, and without asking for your permission. You might get spyware if you download: music or file-sharing programs, free games from sites you don’t trust, or other software programs from a suspicious Web site. To learn some of the warning signs of spyware, help avoid infecting your computer with spyware, or remove it if your computer has already been infected, start by reading What is spyware?

5. Take precautions when you go wireless

Many high school and college campuses now have wireless networks. That means you can surf the Web in the library, cafeteria, or a classroom. You may have already used wireless networks in your home, in airports, coffee shops, or even public parks. These networks are convenient, but they do come with a security risk. If you set up your own wireless network at home or in your dorm room, read Protect Your Home Network and pay special attention to the section on wireless network security. Also read Use public wireless networks more safely to get 3 more tips on WiFi security.

6. Password protect your computer—and lock it

Passwords are the first line of defense in protecting your computer from criminals, pranksters, or a careless roommate. If you don’t use a password to log on to your computer, anyone can access your computer and unlock it. Use our tips for building better passwords now, and be sure to lock your computer when you’re not using it. (To “lock” your Windows computer, hold down “Windows logo key + L.” Follow the instructions on the screen to unlock your computer when you’re ready to use it again)

7. Back up your work (and the fun stuff, too)

The image of students losing their term papers because they forgot to back up their work has almost become a cliché. Still, many of us don’t have the time to back up.

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How to Childproof the Internet

posted: November 6th, 2005 | by: Administrator

Protect your child from Internet dangers with these guidelines, as outlined by the National Crime Prevention Council.

Steps:
1. Teach your children about things on the Internet that concern you (such as pornography, violence and hate sites) and tell them to notify you immediately if they encounter such material.

2. Draw clear guidelines so that children know it is not acceptable to give out personal information, agree to meet in person, or send personal photographs to anyone they meet online. Make sure they know never to respond to messages containing offensive or threatening language and to check with you before entering an online area that has special charges.

3. Take advantage of your Internet service provider’s parental controls. These controls can block access to certain Web pages, chat rooms, newsgroups and other Internet resources that are not fit for children.

4. Purchase blocking software for your computer. These programs block access to certain objectionable sites and prevent children from disclosing personal information on the Internet.

5. Be aware of the amount of time your children spend online and monitor them occasionally to make sure they’re using the Internet safely.

6. Make sure that your child’s school has an acceptable use policy (AUP) for Internet access and that student Internet use is monitored by adults.

7. If a friend of your child has home Internet access, discuss Internet safety and rules with the friend’s parents and find out whether the children will be monitored while online.

Tips:
If children act defensive or nervous when asked about Internet activities or when you walk into the room while they’re online, this could indicate they’re doing something dangerous or forbidden. (On the other hand, they could just be exchanging silly messages with their friends. Use your own judgment.)

If your child receives threats or pornography via e-mail or other Internet messages, save the offensive message and contact the sender’s Internet service provider and your local law enforcement agency.

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Child Vulnerability on the Internet

posted: November 1st, 2005 | by: Administrator

The Internet is both a source of promise for our children and a source of concern. The Internet provides convenient access to a highly diverse library of educational resources, enables collaborative study, and offers opportunities for remote dialog with subject-matter experts. It provides information about hobbies and sports, and it allows children to engage with other people on a near-infinite variety of topics. Through online correspondence, their circles of friendship and diversity of experience can achieve a rich and international scope.

Yet press reports have suggested to many that their children are vulnerable to harm on the Internet. While only a small fraction of material on the Internet could reasonably be classified as inappropriate for children, that small fraction is highly visible and controversial.1 If the full educational potential of the Internet for children is to be realized, such concerns must be reasonably addressed.

At the request of the U.S. Congress in 1998, the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council assembled a committee with expertise in many fields. Based on a wide range of information sources as well as the committee’s own expertise, this report seeks to frame the problem in a legal, educational, technological, social, and societal context and to provide information useful to various decision-making communities–e.g., parents, the information technology industry, school boards, librarians, and government at all levels–about possible courses of action to help children be safer in their use of the Internet.

A report on the topic is available here

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i-SAFE Gives Parents and Teachers the Tools They Need

posted: October 25th, 2005 | by: Administrator

i-SAFE.org is an organization that provides all types of Web users with information they need to surf the Web safely. In addition to providing age-appropriate materials for students, they also provide material for parents and teachers to become certified in Internet safety for free.
I’m particularly interested in that last part because my children’s school is […]

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Summer Safety On the Internet

posted: June 2nd, 2005 | by: Ken

With school out for the Summer, kids will have a lot more time on their hands to surf the Web. If you haven’t already taken precautions, take a moment to at least lay down boundaries of accepted Internet use.
Here’s a few things to consider implementing and to discuss with your child:

Be clear on what sites […]

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This site provides information about online child safety for kids, teens, parents, and teachers. It is operated by an educational technology professional as a service to our community of learners.