Adults have a responsibility to help children learn about, interpret and understand their world. It's a pretty basic concept, but how do we as adults help kids understand their world when we aren't completely aware of the threats and benefits of things like the internet? Today's technology tip is all about helping adults educate themselves about the internet so they can help kids stay safe online.
Like any new technology the internet is full of potentially good outcomes but it comes with plenty of potentially negative outcomes. This has always been true of any new technology. Try to remember that the technology itself isn't good or bad, its how we choose to use it that's good or bad.
First, some of the good stuff we can get from the internet:
Improved communications via email, instant messaging, texting, cell phones and video chat
Data storage and sharing across the world
The potential of networking ideas and knowledge without boundaries
The democratization of information
Then some of the bad stuff:
Internet crime such as online scams
Misuse of information for negative results
Character attacks and "cyber-bullying"
Exploitation of children and child predators
So how do you educate yourself on the bad stuff so you can help kids avoid it? It should be no surprise that there is a whole bunch of websites out there that can help you:
This site provides some practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help people guard against online fraud and protect personal information.
They seek to promote "digital citizenship, online safety and civility." A trip to their home page will give you plenty of current events on the topic of online safety to think about. Additionally, they have plenty of good Safety Advice & Tools for you to check out.