Posts Tagged cybersafety
Two exceptional events in the life of the College occurred last week. Firstly, we held two very successful CyberSafe Parents sessions in the new Professional Learning Australia training room. Around 30 vigilant and proactive parents participated the sessions, which focused on our eSmart strategy, mobile technology, creating a family technology plan and dangerous websites.
The main thrust of the sessions was identifying dangerous practices and websites, as well as formulating a family technology plan. Here are my top five tips for a family technology plan:
1. Get to know the technologies that you children are using all the time. Become and expert and ensure that you are a ‘friend’ who can see everything that they, and their other ‘friends’, are posting.
2. Insist that the family technology plan travels with your children. The same rules that apply at home apply for them at parties, sleepovers, time away from home and whenever they are unsupervised by you.
3. Enforce the rule that deletion of online history, such as videos viewed on YouTube, websites visited and search history, is a sure sign that the child is participating in activities that they don’t want you to see. These actions should result is loss of online access, as you have the right to know exactly what your children are viewing.
4. Compromise on a nightly cut off time for mobile device usage. Have a designated place that phones, tablets and other devices are placed for charging and storage overnight, and a specified time that they can be accessed in the morning. Buy a real alarm clock for your children so they aren’t using their phone. This is a good rule for all family members.
5. Stick to the 13 + age policy in place for most social networking sites. Set up a family Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account that your children can manage, but ensure that you monitor the account, and insist on privacy settings that only allow for approved friends or followers. Make sure that before allowing someone to follow you, you have checked their history to see the content they are posting.
You can access all of the notes from the sessions here. Be on the lookout for more CyberSafe (eSmart) Parents Sessions this year.
We also had an article published in the Bulletin that highlighted our efforts in the eSmart realm. Well done to the Year 8 students who were interviewed that day, as they were articulate and very knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities. You can view the story here.
CyberSafety is a state of mind. It starts and ends with the user. Ask yourself this; Does my child know how to react in or manage a situation in which their safety is compromised? If they receive an email from someone they don’t know, promising a new iPad if they click on a link, do they know what to do? If someone is harassing your daughter on Facebook, sending her inappropriate images and messages, will she handle it correctly? If your son’s best mate wants his College password because he forgot his own, will he give it to him? If there is any doubt in your mind about these questions, or any other scenarios that you can imagine, then you need to create your family’s CyberSafety Rules. The holidays are only a week away, and your child will potentially have an extra 7 hours a day with internet access that is not vigilantly monitored and filtered by the College IT Department. What steps can you take to ensure a reasonable level of security for your family members?
Firstly, devise your family’s internet rules. Start with who, what, where, when, why and how.
Who is allowed to use the internet?
- What sites can they access?
- Where can they use the internet?
- When are the allowable times?
- Why do we keep our personal information, including passwords, private?
- How do we react in certain situations?
Agree on real and enforced consequences for breaking the rules or inappropriate use. Change the wireless password to control the access. Get to know how to check internet history (ctrl+h) or Skype messages. Install the Parental Control Bar to limit access to your approved websites. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can install Splashtop Streamer on the computer and Splashtop Remote on your device, so that you can monitor what is on the screen of your home computer while you are at work. All of these small changes give help give you peace of mind and limit the potential harm that can be done to your children.
Another way to become more CyberSafe is to attend our upcoming ACMA CyberSafety Outreach Parent Evening on the 28th August. “Each presentation is approximately 60 minutes excluding question time. These presentations are easy to understand, thorough, non-technical and informative. They cover a range of issues including:
- the ways children use the internet and emerging technologies
- potential risks faced by children when online such as CyberBullying, identity theft, inappropriate contact and exposure to inappropriate content
- tips and strategies to help children stay safe online” (ACMA, http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Schools/Book%20teacher%20professional%20development.aspx#ISAP)
We have booked the presentation for 6:00 pm, but that time can be changed to a start anytime between 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm. To register your referred starting time, please click here and complete the anonymous survey.
Students from across the College are currently participating in the National Cyber Security Awareness Week pledge. Students from Years 4 to 12 can add a text, image or movie pledge to reinforce their support for CyberSafety. There are some great media entries, from which we will choose a winner from each campus to receive a $15 gift voucher from JB Hifi. Entries close Midnight on Friday 8 June.
Lastly, parents need to be aware of a style of website that is truly alarming. Totally anonymous chat rooms, some with webcam streaming, allow anybody from anywhere in the world to communicate with your child without any registration or age check required. These websites are obviously dangerous and, I repeat, connect users with anonymous and random people. Click here to read an article which lists and describes some of the websites that pose a threat to your children.
Our students have access to a myriad of amazing and ubiquitous information and communications technologies (ICTs). Mobile phones, smart phones, iPhones, iPods, iPads, Nintendo DS consoles, personal gaming consoles, laptops, PCs and even televisions can now connect with people from all over the world in an instant. You can very easily communicate with a person from the other side of the world with a click of a button.
But, do you actually know who that person really is? Just because there is a picture in their bio, location details, personal descriptions and regular conversations about their day to day lives, it could all be a big ruse, a lie – a massive deception.
It is easier than ever to become someone you are not for ill-gotten gains, whether they are for financial, identity or other sinister reasons. Of course, we all want to protect our children. But is banning them from Facebook really going to help them make good decisions?
At Coomera Anglican College, we are endeavouring to empower students with the ability to be discerning, critical and judgmental in their decisions about how, when, where and with whom they use ICTs in social and educational settings.