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Cybersafety Matters

15/06/2017

​We all know that our young people see the internet and mobile phone technology as a life-line to their peers. Whether we like it or not, it is a very real part of their life. However, we also know that this technology exposes them to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, sexting, online grooming and identity theft. The perceived anonymity of the internet provides a false sense of security, so we frequently see teens engaging in behaviours that they would not consider in the real world. Some of these poor choices online have far reaching effects which are not simply fixed by pushing the ‘undo’ button.

The following is a brief overview of 10 important facts that can form the basis of discussions with your children.

  1. Respect and Responsibility – Before you post, THINK! Is it True, is it Helpful, is it Inspiring, is it Necessary, is it Kind?
  2. Cyberspace is PUBLIC! Regardless of the privacy or security settings, it cannot be guaranteed that your information will be kept private….forever.
  3. Nothing can be totally deleted –  Everything you receive is recorded and saved. It is always out there!
  4. You are NEVER anonymous online –  regardless of your online “name” or accounts set up. It can all be traced back to you.
  5. You ALWAYS leave a digital footprint – If you are doing something wrong using technology, it is only a matter of WHEN, not IF, you get caught.
  6. Always remember your manners – Remember ‘netiquette’ rules: Words don’t convey facial expressions/emotion. Be aware of tone as things can easily be taken the wrong way. CAPS LOCK equals shouting, so please don’t. If you wouldn’t swear in front of your Nanna, best not to use it online – and if you would say it to a person’s face, don’t say it online. Leave sending that text if you are overtired, emotional, angry, etc.
  7. NEVER share Passwords – BFF’s may not stay BFF’s!
  8. No such thing as a safe website or App –  Always be aware of your security settings and that not all users are honest and well-intentioned.
  9. Anyone can be anyone online – There is no way to really know who you are communicating with. Identify theft, voice-changing software and dishonest users make it impossible for you to know who is online.
  10. There are cyberspace laws – If it’s a crime in the real world, it’s usually a crime online too. There are laws about defamation, bullying and sending/recording explicit images of children under 18 years of age (considered as child pornography). Being charged with these crimes will cause problems for future travel, job opportunities, etc. So, THINK before you ACT online….

 

Resource: Sexts, Texts & Selfies: How to keep your children safe in the digital space by S. McLean.

Mrs Anne Cardillo
Learning Support Teacher