Sunday, September 9, 2012

Internet Safety for Kids (Grades K-12) Growing Up in the Information Age

With the use of Internet becoming more and more integral to education and our daily lives,  I wonder at how it has grown into this wonderful yet possibly grotesque beast that very few of us at this point can live without.

Our kids and students can be plugged into the world community at the touch of an onscreen icon - at home, at play, and at school.  They use internet technology daily text-messaging, on Facebook, blogging, Twittering, watching videos, gaming, and even doing research for school. With this world-wide community at their beck and call come certain risks that we as adults are aware of, but they may not be. 

Have you ever stopped to think what happens in an internet minute - or how the digital world has literally taken off?  Intel has...take a look this staggering image:
Internet minute infographic
Let me iterate a few choice data points (in case this image is hard to read). In one minute there are:
  • 30 hours of video are uploaded onto YouTube and there are 1.3 million video views;
  • over 2 million search queries on Google;
  • 277,000 logins on Facebook and 6 million Facebook views;
  • 320+ new Twitter accounts and 100,000 new tweets;
  • 100+ Linkedin accounts;
  • $83,000 in sales on Amazon;
  •  47,000 App downloads;
  • 204 million emails sent;
  • 1,300 new Mobile users;
  • 6 new Wikipedia articles published;
  • 135 Botnet infections;
  • 20 new victims of identity theft;
  • 639,800GB of global IP data transferred.

The positive and negative aspects of our digital world are still unfolding and the consequences of such an unfolding, amorphous, available world are mind-boggling (at least to me - as I often feel like a 'techno-dinosaur"). There are pros and cons to their surfing explorations and as adults, we must protect our kids and teach them how to surf, much like we teach them about crossing the street.

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR KIDS/STUDENTS SAFE?  Here are some suggestions (please add your own in the comments):
  • Go online together and share safety tips: Just as you would not go into a stranger's car, don't let them venture alone onto unknown websites.  Start surfing together and find agreed-upon 'safe' vehicles. For kids in grades 2-8, I would start at FBI-SOS scavenger hunt  (see below for more details).  At this site you may want to play a few games together with younger kids, older kids can and should navigate this sight on their own.
  • Before allowing kids to surf on their own, discuss together what makes a site 'safe'.  Compare and contrast the 'safety' of various sites and teach recognition skills - modeling how to recognize the safe, reliable sites. Decide together what may make it safe or unsafe.  
    • Teach them NOT to provide private information - addresses (not even just the town), phone numbers, family information, age
    • Talk about multiple 'identities' surfers might create and how to be careful about 'friending'
    • Talk about language used and what types of sites/language to stay away from or to NEVER us.
HERE ARE SOME SITES WITH SAFETY GAMES AND INFORMATION FOR KIDS GRADES K-8: (With younger kids I recommend you watch these together and discuss them. NOTE that below I have a more extensive list of sites that kids can navigate and 'play' with on their own as they continue to learn about cybernet safety.)
  • Here is an internet safety video for kids in grades K-3

  • "NetSmartz Workshop"partnered with The Boys and Girls Clubs of America  has webvideos on internet safety information for young kids ("Cliky's Web World"),  for older kids ("Net Smartz Rules") and for teens  ("I-360")
Here is a link that introduces these three programs:

  • The FBI teaches internet safety through their FBI-SOS scavenger hunt at  - it consists of games for kids in grades 3, 4,5,6,7, and 8.  Each grade has its own scavenger hunt with appropriate sites they direct kids to - each with games, information, songs/raps.  At the end of the "hunt" is a quiz.  I highly recommend this site for teachers, parents, and kids.
  • Here is another online safety video for pre-teens - Funmood's Online Safety Kit - Little Red Riding Mood

  • Yahoo! Safely- is the official Yahoo security tips website with sections designed specifically for parents and kids, teaching them internet safety.
  • Staying Safe on YouTube - this is more about posting than viewing but is worth watching with your kid/teen:
    • Google's Family Safety Center contains Internet security tips, videos and articles relating tools offered by Google as well as providing parents tips/videos and information on how to report abuse or inappropriate content on its services.
      HERE ARE SOME MORE INFORMATION/GAME SITES (GRADES 3-12)  with online safety tips and tools to protect kids, provide educational vehicles for teachers and inform parents:
      Here is a short list of some of the adcouncil cyber safety resources on youtube (from Online exploitation places - Online exploitation acyronms - Online exploitation exchange - Cyberbullying talentshow - Think before you post 1 -  Think before you post 2 -

      Resources you can download:

      I have given you a lot of options above. IF I were to recommend a place to begin, it would be at FBI-SOS scavenger hunt .  Each grade level gives kids a lot of different options and I would recommend looking at the various grade levels to determine which is most appropriate for your kids/students.

       This, clearly, is just the tip of the iceberg and as time and technology progress so will the list. Please feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments and SURF SAFELY!
      Thanks for your visit.  I hope to see you again soon.


      1. Your blog is an AMAZING resource! I am so glad to know be following via the GFC hop. If you have a chance to stop by my blog, I have a great LeapFrog giveaway going on. All the best - Monica

      2. Great info! Thanks!
        Dropping in from Inspire Me Monday

      3. Wow.. I didn't know most of this! I"m glad you have posted this

        I'm your newest follower from the Monday Mingle :)

      4. Thanks for posting. Honestly, I'm terrified of the day when my daughter wants to start using the internet. It can be so dangerous!

      5. Thanks for posting. It's super scary.

        Hopefully, next week, for Mommy and Me Monday, we'll see a picture of you and your kiddos. That's the idea of it, to make sure we are getting out from behind the camera.

      6. What a great post?! Internet safety is so important but yet so easy to overlook!

        New GFC follower from blog hop. Can't wait to hear from you!

      7. Wow! This is crazy! Thanks for sharing and for linking up with Mommy Moments Monday! I'm a new follower:)

        ROG, ABC Wednesday team

      9. I must say that was very interesting :-)

        Thanks for the info road safety is important.

      10. I'm your latest follower from the Flock Together Blog Hop. This is some amazing information and I will use it to make sure my kids are safe.
        Pop over for a cocktail any time!

      11. I hope that schools are training students of all ages to be safe on the internet.

      12. Awesome tips. My kids don't use the computer yet but before I know it they will be asking me to and these tips will come in handy.

      13. Wow! My older two kids (20 + 17) are not so much into the computer and iPods, but my 8 year old LOVES all technology. She's the one I'm going to have to watch. We have a time limit set on the computer so it will log her off after so long, we have restrictions on websites such as YouTube, and if she tries to go onto a restricted site we get an email. As for me I'm addicted to it all. Twitter, FB, blogging, my iPhone...Such a different world. Thanks for sharing all these tips :))


      14. Great tips! Even though we followed through and did everything right, an online predator was still able to contact my daughter. I would suggest adding a keystroke/screenshot program that is hidden in the computer and check on your childs activity regularly.


      15. Thank you for this interesting post. My Australian grandchildren have been depended on internet for a long time now as they have been homeschooled for some time now.
        Have a great time this week.

      16. My oldest is just starting to use the computer. I'm with him every step of the way.

      17. Wow, this is terrifying information!!

      18. This is such an informative post. Such interesting details that the kids are sure to enjoy and learn! Thanks/

      19. This is really great information, thank you! My husband and I are very computer/internet savvy, which I'm very thankful for. I know that we will be prepared when our kids are old enough to start using the computer. My parents were NOT at all ready for this Information Age. I know it scared my Dad to death whenever I was chatting with someone online (a friend, not a stranger, but how was he supposed to know?). Thanks for this post!

      20. Thanks for your comment and for linking up.

      21. These are great resources for Internet safety. I love that Internet Graphic. Why didn't I come up with the idea for 83K in sales per minute? Wow!

      22. Wow! I bet the best is to monitor our kids' online usage.

      23. Fantastic information and tips! As a teacher, and mother of a 10 year old, internet safety is always a major concern. Many sites are blocked at school, but supervision is still necessary to monitor what students are doing. As for home, my son is allowed on the internet, but computers are not allowed in his room. We have a specific area where the computers are located and where they can be constantly viewed.

        Thank you for joining in on the Totally Tuesday Blog Hop at

        Hope you have a great week!

      24. Internet is a bit scary for the kids but then again it is one useful thing for them. We just have to be vigilant in supervising what they visit.

        Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

      25. That scavenger hunt sounds fun.

        I'm a big fan of teaching responsible internet use, rather than policing. My kids know the rules for passwords, not to download or register for ANYTHING without first checking with me, never to give out personal information, location, etc. There are plenty of times when I'm not there to police them, I'd rather know that they've internalized what they need to do or avoid.

      26. This was priceless information to share. I like the idea of the Scavenger Hunt.

      27. Very important information. Thanks for sharing.

      28. Interesant mod de a prezenta internetul.

      29. Very, very interesting indeed!! Thank you so much for sharing.

      30. Thank you so much for all the great information!

      31. My school blocks many websites that students can access

      32. What a great resource! We don't allow FB in our home until said child turns the official age of 13, per the TOC. Rules are there for a reason!

        New follower from Crazy Mama's Monday blog hop. :)

      33. Thanks for linking up - and writing back last week - how ironic about your similar names!!!! Related or coincidence?
        Great blog post :) Happy weekend!

      34. It's all very intimidating. Thanks for the help and links to good resources. Cheers Bree.

      35. A wealth of information again! Those stats at the top are very interesting.

      36. this is a very informative post. I remember when a good friend of mine said that the internet has lots of effect on her child that's why she sent her child for regular swimming lessons because really, nowadays, children and teens go online if they have nothing to do and sometimes they even find a way to be online.
        new follower here! :)


      37. This is a fantastic and useful post for all.The internet safety is must at this time.Thanks for this marvelous information.

      38. Great informative post. I definitely need to share with my teacher blogger buddies.

      39. Hello,

        I am visiting you through Blog Hops Everyday. You have a lovely blog and I love your content. I am now following your blog, please check out my blogs too and return the love: Empowered Mommy and Pregnancy Forum

        Thanks for your time. :)

      40. Oh wow! You have so many great resources! I'm totally bookmarking this post so I can refer back to it often. :)

        Teachers Do Make a Difference, Laptop Malfunction, #MaytagMom Update, Furby Wishes and Jennifer Aniston Love

      41. Great post. Internet safety is important for children. Carver ABC Wed. Team

      42. I'm on overload just trying to process it all. And yes it continues to grow. I think half the battle is developing wholesome interests in our children and then helping provide internet destinations which reflect our values which are attractive to kids.

      43. Very informative post thanks for all the great information!

      44. Lots of great info! stop by and link up

      45. This comment has been removed by the author.

      46. Your way of presentation is indeed appreciable. The cartoon caption is tremendously indicative. Your post should be read by each and every parent out there with small kids in the house.

      47. A very informative article about keeping kids or students safe from the dangers of using the Internet nowadays.

      48. I'm learning more from this post about internet safety for kids. Parents would sure get a lot of points from this! :)

      49. Very informative article about keeping kids or students safe from the dangers of using the Internet nowadays. Thanks a million! This helped me wake up now, I appreciate the share!

      50. I love these ideas, I think they work perfectly well with young learners. I am actually thinking of using some of them while teaching my own kids.

        kids schools