Anti virus, anti spyware, firewalls, and spam filters are also effective ways of decreasing the risk of phishing scams associated with email. Cybercriminals will also use email, pop ups, spam, and websites to obtain personal information to try to steal your identity. Pharming is when a cybercriminal tries to get your personal information using malicious code that redirects users to fraudulent websites.
Teach students ways to stay safe from pharming by teaching lessons like, Joan Curtis did, a teacher at Schwenksville Elementary School in Pennsylvania, through investigative role playing where students try to figure out which website is a hoax by comparing information in nonfiction reference sources and online databases. Other ways students can protect themselves is by looking for “https,” or a lock symbol in the browser bar where the link is. Students can protect themselves by not clicking on pop-ups, or downloading programs from unknown sources.
Clicking on these things can install malware and spy-ware on the computer with out the knowledge of the user. Installing anti-virus, anti spyware, and a firewall will help keep pop-ups and untrusted sites from popping up while browsing the Internet. Ways to decrease the possibility of identity theft of students is to teach them to never share passwords, account numbers, email, or instant messaging Creating and changing passwords often is another way to fight against potential identity theft. If a student’s identity is compromised, the compromised accounts need to closed, and a report should be made with the police.
Students should learn to be wary of calls, pop ups, websites, and emails asking for personal information. An even more terrifying cybercrime than identity theft is conceived from online predators. Online predators will exploit children’s curiosity and do other inappropriate things. Predators are individuals that commit child sexual abuse that begins on the Internet. They lower children’s inhibitions, and use their adult status to influence or control children. They will offer attention and affection, they will betray; trust, manipulate emotions, and insecurities.
Predators start out visiting websites that children would go to. Then they start with what is called grooming. Grooming is when a predator may spend many months breaking down a child’s barrier. Some techniques predators use to get to know a child are fishing, mirroring, and luring. Fishing is getting information other than their name, address, and phone number. Students need to know not to give out information like the name of their school, softball team, or hobbies. Revealing too much information like their private thoughts, feelings, or pictures can put students at risk of becoming victims.
Mirroring is when the predator pretends to have the same emotion as the student, creating camaraderie between the child and predator. Predators will also try to blackmail students to get what they want. If a child spends an excessive amount of time on the Internet, or gets angry when they are using the Internet an online predator might be abusing them. Other signs is if a child becomes withdrawn, if their screen minimizes or if there is inappropriate images or websites, strange gifts in the mail, or strange phone numbers on the bill.
Students can guard against predators by not using suggestive screen names, be wary of flattery, and don’t talk to people who want to much personal information. Students should keep in mind that people are not always who they say they are on the internet, and should never arrange to meet in person. Students need to know that it is okay to tell a trusted adult if someone is making them feel uncomfortable. If a child comes to an adult they should let the child know it is not their fault, and the evidence needs to be saved. Teachers and parents should contact the police and cyber tip line if there is an incident.
As children get older their Internet usage will expand. They will begin to explore social networking. Most social media websites do not allow children younger than 13 to have accounts, but many lie about their age, or parents allow them to set up accounts. The social media websites have age restrictions to protect children from coming in contact with internet harm. When children defy these rules they are putting themselves in risk of being victims from cyber bulling, coming in contact with inappropriate content, online predators, or identity theft.
Some of the safety precautions for the Internet threats to children mentioned before are similar, however when it comes to social media there is a new set of rules. The same safety precautions still apply, but with social media there are more safety precautions to consider. Privacy settings can be set to keep profiles private so that only friends can see posts. Students need to have only people they know in real life on their friends list to keep out unwanted cyber bullies or cybercriminals. Students need to take into consideration of what they post. A good rule of thumb is don’t post it unless you want the whole world to see it.
This is true because even if a student’s security is set to private and they only have real life friends on their list, those friends can still copy, paste, forward, or share those things. Things posted online also stay on there for years. There are many apps that can vouch for that, like “Timehop”, and “On this day. ” Students also need to be considerate of good use of netiquette. Netiquette is using appropriate etiquette to communicate on the Internet. Some basic rules of good Netiquette are to remember that the person communicating with is in fact a human being that has feelings.
Explain to children that it is not nice to hurt other people’s feelings regardless of whether they are online or in real life. Basic Internet netiquette rules for example, is to behave online just as you would in real life. It is also important to note what is expected as appropriate netiquette per domain. Some domains might be more lenient than others. Students also need to be respectful of other peoples time, explain to them that what they believe is important may not be to someone else. Students should try to use good spelling, grammar, and make sense when they are communicating online.
Spell check can help with spelling and grammar mistakes. Students need to be understanding about seeing others mistakes, and not do what is called flaming, or calling them out on it to embarrass someone. Everyone makes mistakes. It is good netiquette to not start a flame war, or even respond to flame posted by someone else. Be courteous to people and help share knowledge, that is what the internet is really about, learning! Finally teach students to respect other people’s privacy, do not read other people’s messages or emails unless they give you permission of course. Social networking is an opportunity to share information about oneself.
It includes blogs, walls, emailing, friends list, instant messenger, posting pictures, videos and status updates. It is an opportunity to share information about oneself. Students need to be taught to not share too much on social media sites, especially not something that could harm their reputation later. Many students play social media games like Farmville and need to be aware that apps like this reveal their profile information to others. Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare can be potentially dangerous because they have geolocation sharing.
Geoloacation sharing post the location of where someone is. This is fun for kids that want their friends to know where they are at, but it is not fun to share this with the world, especially people you don’t know that could be potentially harmful predators. To keep predators out turn off the geolocation when posting on social media. More and more kids are getting their own cellphones today, it seems to be younger and younger children have access to cell phones. Cellphones carry the same threats as computers and tablets, especially since most cell phones are smart phones and have internet capabilities.
Cell phones can be a good way for students to get into contact with the adults in their lives, they can also be used by cyber bullies, and criminals to take advantage of unknowing children. Unfortunately another issue and major crime is easily assessable on cell phones. sexting. Sexting is the use of Internet technology to send sexual explicit messages. Teenagers are more likely to run into this type of risk, but as sixth graders are about to be teenagers, it should be discussed before so they are aware of the risk and the legal matters regarding sexting.
Many teens use apps like Kik, snapchat, and whatsapp because of the anonymity, however things can still be brought up, saved, and shared. Sexting is illegal for anyone under the age of 18. Students need to know that it is illegal to re-transmit a copy of a sexual explicit photo without the knowledge of the originator. Some of the consequences for sexting include being prosecuted for child pornography, spending time in prison, registering as a sex offender, and it will make it hard for persecutors to find a job.
A few tips if a student comes into contact with sexual explicit text messages would be to absolutely do not forward it to anyone, report to an adult, report to the school, their could be academic consequences from the school, and report to the police for any legal action. There are many threats on the Internet that serve potential risk to children. Teachers and parents can teach children to know what to look for and how to react if they come into contact with any of these threats.
These guidelines are summed up into a few tips. Trusted adults need to learn everything they can about the internet. Standards need to be set for children for what is acceptable behavior online. Remember to keep personal information private. Social networking sites need to be used with precautions. Make sure students know that it is okay to come to a trusted adult, like a teacher or parent if they encounter a problem. Talking with students about Internet use is a good way to keep these guidelines fresh in their minds.