The Student's Guide to Online Safety

EDTECH 541 Nicolas Hernandez

The Internet has a lot of different uses. You may use it for school to do research, you may play online games, or you may think it can be fun to get online and begin talking to your friends online. The Internet is a great tool for us to use in life, but it is important to know how to protect yourself and be sure that you are being safe when you are online.

1.  Do not reveal Personal Information to others online.

Sometimes people (even some who you know) may request some personal information or revealing selfies from you while you are online. It is wise to avoid doing this. You may think that you can trust the other person with this information but you must always prepare as if your friend's computer either was hacked or will be hacked and your information would no longer be limited to just your friend's computer. It could get out for the whole world to see and repost. You should also never reveal your phone number and address to people online.

source: Common Sense Media

2. Do not reveal your location to others people may ask you about your current location.

It is unwise to share this information to others online where it can be viewed by anyone. Someone wishing to do you harm could see the information and use the information to locate you or your family. Sometimes we may do this unintentionally. Many apps today will allow users to check in at various locations. This posts your location information. Also, some photo sharing sites will include GPS coordinates of where pictures are taken and uploaded (GeoLocation). These features must be disabled to ensure that you do not reveal your location and unknowingly provide your location information to an online predator.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Source: Common Sense Media

3. Never talk, text, or IM people you do not know while online.

You have probably heard people tell you to "never talk to strangers". The same is true online. You should not talk to people you do not know online. This is true of people who you may only know online. An online only friend is still someone you do not know. Many kids have been tricked into thinking they were talking to other kids only to find out that their online only friend was a child predator.

Source: Kids Health

4. Do not open, click on or reply to online communication that makes you feel uncomfortable. This includes online bullying as well.

If you see something posted online that makes you feel uncomfortable in any way you need to ignore the message, block the user from contacting you, and notify a parent or supervising adult. Cyberbullying is illegal and can be very harmful if it is allowed to continue.

Source: NetSmartz

5. If someone you are talking to online requests that you take the conversation private or        meet in person, notify your parents immediately.

It is the goal of many online predators to lure children away from the safety of their homes and to a location that allows the predator an opportunity to do a child harm. If you ever receive a request to meet in person from someone who you only know as an online friend or don't know at all, you should inform your parents immediately.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Source: NetSmartz

Choose To Be Safe Online
A Student Made PSA

Additional Sources of Information on Internet Safety

Safe Online Surfing A site created by the FBI to promote online safety for kids.

Internet Safety 101 A company devoted to keeping kids safe online.  

Free Internet Safety Tutorial A powerful tutorial on staying safe online.

National Crime Prevention Council Tips on Internet Safety