(On the Job is a series of blog posts highlighting the experiences of IGS staff. While roles and responsibilities of staff vary, the core commonalities exist in a shared desire to provide quality education for all under the intergenerational learning model.)
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Now that we are full swing into summer break, we would like to provide you with essential information regarding internet safety. With children having more leisure time and increased access to technology during the summer break, it is crucial to reinforce good online habits. By working together, we can ensure our children have a safe and enjoyable experience in the digital world. Here are some important tips to promote internet safety this summer, and all year long.
1. Establish Clear Expectations: Set clear guidelines for internet usage during the summer break. Discuss specific time limits and encourage a healthy balance between online and offline activities. Reinforce the importance of responsible online behavior and adherence to family rules.
2. Safety Settings and Parental Controls: Familiarize yourself with the safety settings and parental control features on devices your child will be using. These tools can help you regulate and monitor their online activities, providing an added layer of protection.
3. Safe Social Media Usage: Discuss appropriate social media use with your child, especially if they are of age to have their own accounts. Teach them about privacy settings, the importance of accepting friend requests only from known individuals, and the potential risks associated with sharing personal information publicly.
4. Online Gaming Safety: If your child engages in online gaming, ensure they understand the importance of respectful and safe gaming behavior. Discuss the potential risks of interacting with strangers online and remind them not to share personal information or engage in private conversations during gameplay.
5. Educate about Scams and Phishing: Explain the concept of scams and phishing attempts to your child. Teach them to recognize suspicious emails, messages, or requests for personal information. Remind them to be cautious and to seek your guidance if they encounter anything unusual.
6. Digital Footprint Awareness: Help your child understand the concept of a digital footprint. Discuss the potential consequences of sharing inappropriate content or engaging in harmful online behavior. Encourage them to think twice before posting or sharing anything online that could have a negative impact on their reputation.
7. Online Stranger Danger: Reinforce the importance of not interacting with strangers online. Remind your child that people may not always be who they claim to be on the internet. Encourage them to inform you immediately if they receive any suspicious or uncomfortable messages or requests.
8. Safe Searching and Content: Teach your child how to conduct safe online searches and to avoid clicking on unknown or potentially harmful links. Encourage them to use child-friendly search engines and to report any inappropriate content they come across.
9. Digital Wellness and Balance: Help your child develop healthy screen time habits. Encourage them to take regular breaks from screens, engage in physical activities, and spend time with friends and family. Promote a well-rounded summer experience that includes outdoor play, reading, creative hobbies, and other offline pursuits.
10. Ongoing Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with your child regarding their online activities. Encourage them to come to you with any concerns, questions, or instances of online misconduct they may encounter. Regular conversations will help you address potential risks promptly and provide guidance when needed.
Remember, internet safety is a year-round effort. By incorporating these practices into your child’s summer routine, you are empowering them to make responsible choices and navigate the online world with confidence.
Wishing you and your family a safe and enjoyable summer!
Director of Safety & Facilities
The Intergenerational Schools