November 2-6, was "Digital Citizenship Week" at J.R. Smith Elementary. Students learned about online safety, privacy and security, digital footprint, netiquette, and cyber-bullying. November is our month to focus on Privacy and Security.
Here are some important tips for parents:
Be sure that your children understand that information posted online or shared digitally is permanent. Even with strict privacy settings, others can copy information or pictures and use them as they will. Basically, anything you share could potentially be seen by everyone.
Talk to your children about never sharing their passwords. This can lead to serious issues.
Set strict privacy settings on all social media accounts. Take the time to understand all of the policies and settings for any accounts. Encourage your children to be friends with only people they know in real life. It is not a competition to see who can get the most likes or followers.
Limit access to social media. Have your children keep their phones in your bedroom at night or another location. Many of the worst internet safety infractions happen late at night or in the very early morning hours when parents are asleep.
Check age limits on websites. Most social media sites have a legal minimum age requirement.
Finally, if your children are on it, you should be, too! They need to know you are watching what they post. This can help protect their digital footprint which will certainly be important in the future. Virtually every college and company now check social media before hiring new employees.