Rules for Online Safety
Technology has become a part of our everyday life and we cannot avoid it. The Internet has changed the way we interact, shop, socialize and communicate. This has also changed the way our children interact with the others. They have this vast world out there from where they can get in-depth knowledge from all across the world. Yet with all these easy access to information and entertainment, the internet also offers new risks.
The children at some point in their young lives will be exposed to Cyber bullying, exposure to inappropriate material, online predators etc. We as adults (educators, parents, siblings, relatives) should try our best to protect our young wards and also learn to recognize the warning signs.
Here are some rules aimed at younger children, pre-teens & teenagers for online use which vary by age, maturity of the child and family values
1. Do not give out personal information such as your address, telephone number, parents’ work address/telephone number without your parents’ permission.
2. You should tell your parents right away if you come across something that makes you feel uncomfortable.
3. You should never agree to get together with someone you “met” online. Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are.
4. Talk with your parents about posting pictures or videos of yourself or others online and not post any pictures your parents consider to be inappropriate. Think carefully before sharing pictures and videos of yourself or others online, most of the pictures can be seen by several people who may download your images to use in unwanted sites.
5. Do not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make you feel uncomfortable. Tell your parents right away. If you feel you are being bullied, tell your parents or teachers right away. Remember, it is not your fault.
6. Talk with your parents so that you can set up rules for going online and using a mobile phone. You will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.
7. Do not give out your passwords to anyone (even your best friends) other than your parents.
8. Check with your parents before downloading or installing software or doing anything that could possibly hurt your computer or mobile device or jeopardize your family’s privacy.
9. Be a responsible and good online citizen and not do anything that hurts other people or is against the law.
10. Try not being in the social media sites until you are over the age limit. Register in social media sites only if your parents approve. Keep your privacy settings as high as possible.
What parents can do
In the present time and age of world being run with information technology it is imperative that parents learn the basics of internet safety. Your children are constantly exposed to a variety of online services, and each of these will have several safety concerns.
There are some basic tips that you can employ to keep your children safe on the internet.
• Keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home.
• Establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long.
• Remember that Internet technology can be mobile, so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops.
• Surf the Internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.
• Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams.
• Continually dialogue with your children about online safety.
• Do not allow your children to be on social networking sites if there are not of the appropriate age. Read up about the site they want to be in, keep their privacy settings high , explain the rules to them and monitor their friends list, updates , images and videos they are posting & viewing.
• Report any unpleasant events, if needed lodge a complaint with the cyber crime cell. (Information and link given at the end of this post)
Rules for mobile phone safety
Parents are requested not to give mobiles phones to the children to carry to school (mobile phones are not allowed in SSVVK).In case you do want them to have a phone for safety purpose, give them the basic model with just the emergency numbers.
Students are requested not reply to a text from someone they don’t know.
Do not respond to strange or nasty messages that you receive. Keep the messages you have been sent so you can show them to a trusted adult and make a note of the time and date of the messages or calls you receive.
Don’t answer calls from withheld numbers or numbers you don’t recognize.
Block numbers from people who are sending you nasty messages.
Don’t give your mobile number to someone you don’t know.
Don’t send pictures to someone you don’t know.
If the problem is serious you can report it to your parents, teachers.