The 3 Basics of Online Safety

Students are constantly connected to the world through the internet, their phones, and technology. There is a wealth of information out there, but it’s also scary to think some students may not understand internet safety. Here are some quick lessons to pass along to your students. 

Protecting Privacy Online

Social media is the main platform students are using to connect with each other. And it can be an easy way to get into trouble.

Teach your students to set their privacy settings on all their social media accounts. They should block other users who aren’t friends from seeing any of their personal information, such as their home address, phone number, and date of birth. 

Also, teach your students to deny and turn off location settings. Every time they make a post, social media can share the exact location you are when you post. 

Identifying and Stopping Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying isn’t always as straightforward as a mean post about someone – it could be a passive-aggressive photo or tweet which may be harder to identify without context. This is why it is important to teach students how to deal with cyberbullying.

If a student sees a post that can be hurtful to someone else – teach them that this is bullying. Teach them that it is potentially even more hurtful because it’s posted online for everyone to see and look back on.

Teach students to think of the perspective of the peer they are posting about/reading a post about. Every student should ask themselves before posting: “What would I think of someone who posted this?”

If students see cyberbullying, they should take a stand. Teaching empathy is a hard thing to do, but try to explain to students how to put themselves into someone else’s shoes.

Use Online Tools to Teach Online Safety

Lecturing students on online safety gets the information out there, but having your students engage in an online platform to learn more is an even better way for them to learn.

Google has launched Interland, which is a free online game that makes learning how the web works fun. Google teaches five core online principles – smart, alert, strong, kind, and brave. There are also further teacher resources and a free online course for the teacher to support them in teaching digital citizenship!

Childnet International has lessons, advice and links to other resources for teachers of students from elementary level up to high school level. 

We encourage students to engage in a safe, private platform for their schools.

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