Internet Safety and Cyber Awareness
Internet Safety and Cyber Awareness for Parents:

Dickinson Independent School District is dedicated to ensuring that all students are successful and safe online.  We have parents, students, and staff sign an Acceptable Use of Electronic Communications agreement that details the measures taken to ensure that a safe and secure learning environment is provided for all students.  Teachers conduct specific lessons to specifically target Cyber Awareness at each grade level, in order to reinforce the concepts throughout their education in DISD.  Although these measures are taken, students are still able to access the internet at home or in public areas outside of their school environment which are unsecure and pose potential risks for students.  We encourage you to talk to your child and establish a dialogue regarding internet safety.


TIPS FOR PARENTS
  1. Monitor your child’s Internet use consistently. This is not a violation of your child’s privacy;this is a safeguarding measure and part of your responsibility as a parent.
  2. Learn if your child belongs to a social networking site (MySpace, Facebook, Tagged, Xanga, etc),
  3. Look closely at what information they have posted in their member profiles and blogs,including photos and videos.
  4. Talk to your child about your Internet safety concerns in a positive way and give them the opportunity to make safety resolutions that you can both live with (example, how much time can be spent online? Are chat rooms permitted?).
  5. Explain that your child should: NEVER give out personal information (name, address, phone, school name), NEVER meet anyone from online without your permission, NEVER open emails from unknown senders, and NEVER share their photo with strangers over the Internet.
  6. Encourage your children to bring anything strange or upsetting to your attention and don’t overreact when they do (fear of losing Internet privileges is why kids don’t tell parents about problems – and why they may start surfing the web somewhere else).
  7. Stay in touch with your child's online activities. Know who their online friends are (and who is on their buddy list), just as you would their other friends.
  8. Learn how filtering and monitoring software can assist you in protecting your children.  K9 offers a free internet safety filter you can use at home. However, education and parental involvement are the primary methods of prevention.
  9. Internet accounts should always be in the parent’s name. The parent should maintain the primary email account and be in charge of all passwords and parental controls.Children should NEVER share their passwords with anyone other than their parents.
  10. Notify the police if someone your child met online starts calling them, sending gifts, or trying to lure them from home.
  11. Check your credit card statements each month for unusual charges that may indicate that a stranger or your child is making unauthorized purchases.
  12. Don’t think of the Internet as a babysitter. Keep the computer in a public area of the house.
*Adapted from Web Wise Kids (2007)
 
Below are additional web resources tips for Internet Safety for you to learn more so you can have conversations with your child about internet safety.

iKeepSafe.org
www.stopcyberbullying.org
wiredsafety.org
Netsmartz


Optional Safety Publications

T itle: The Berenstein Bears Lost in CyberSpace
Description:   This children's book takes the reader on a cyber adventure with the Berenstain Bear crew. The reader learns about some of the things to watch out for on the Internet. Authored by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Random House. New York.

Title: Internet & Computer Ethics for Kids (And Parents and Teachers Who Haven't Got a Clue.)
Description: This book helps children and parents think about some of the ethical issues involved in computer use. Authored by Winn Schwartau, and illustrated by D.L. Busch. Winn Schwartau & Interpact, Inc., Seminole, Florida.

Title: A Parent's Guide to the Internet and How to Protect Your Children in Cyberspace Description:   This book provides parents with the information they need to help keep their children safer online. Safety tips and suggestions for keeping open the lines of communication are provided. Authored by Parry Aftab, Esquire, SC Press, Inc., New York.

Title: The Parents' Guide to the Information Superhighway: Rules and Tools for Families Online Description: This is a guide for parenting in the age of computers. It provides explanations and safety tips for computer and Internet use. To download a copy of this guide visit the Children's Partnership web site at www.childrenspartnership.org.






The mission of the Dickinson Independent School District is to ensure that all students have safe and successful learning opportunities that help them reach their full potential and add quality throughout their lives. 

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