The Internet has taken the world by storm. It is a great invention, but it also has potential dangers. Young people need to learn how to face things like online bullying, fraud, harassment, phishing, blackmailing, identity theft, addiction, and of course inappropriate content. Therefore, keeping students safe online is the school’s task.
20 Online Safety Tips for Schools
The school is like a second house for children. It is where they spend most of their time, exploring knowledge and enjoying. Some of the safety measures that you can apply for keeping students safe online are:
1. Use parental control software
Parental software is probably the most useful monitoring software for parents. Parental software helps to filter out inappropriate content and useless information digitally. Some of your students might use social media such as Facebook, Instagram, or play games during lectures; parental apps limit this content or give teachers alerts or notifications.
Some of the main features of parental software for a school are:
- You can know their web browsing history
- You are notified instantly when a student comes or leaves the school
- Helps to block some of the harmful applications on the internet
- Monitors social media
- Notification and location alerts
The most important thing is to keep parents involved.
2. Teach students to keep their information private
As children don’t know the importance of privacy, they put all their private information on social media or the internet. As you may know, the internet is not secure; any information you place online can be used in phishing and hacking. As a result, schools should teach students about their digital footprint and the effect of the internet, and how to safely and securely use it.
3. Teach students some rules for passwords
Having a secure password is vital for your online security. Usually, students are not careful with passwords, they use easy to guess passwords, or use the same one for all applications. So, a school should teach how to use a password, keep a strong password, change the password frequently, and teach them never to share it with anyone.
4. Don’t interact with strangers
Social media, i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others, have made it easier to interact with different people worldwide. Students must learn to avoid potentially dangerous situations. It is important that they realize that people may not be who they appear to be online. Give them information about online fraud, lying, predators, and hackers, which will make them aware.
5. Teach them about law and their rights
Teachers must educate and be knowledgeable about the laws and regulations for keeping students safe online. This method will help them to stand on their own feet and act in the right direction. Here are some laws that a teacher should know about:
6. Teach them zero tolerance
No one should tolerate cyberbullying, abuse and harassment. According to research, teenagers generally endure and stay silent. You must educate students to never tolerate any kind of humiliation. Show them how to speak out and raise their voice when they need to.
7. What is right and what is wrong
Teens have little experience of how the internet and the online world function. Make them understand what is good and what is inappropriate content on the internet. Students can learn with the use of explanations of positive attitudes and acts.
8. Be careful with downloads
You are giving permission to malware and viruses to access your devices by downloading from untrusted sources. Online predators and hackers are intelligent; they often target children by attaching the malware in apps or downloads when they are distracted, similarly in gaming and social media.
Some of them even have made settings to download the game first and only play a game later. Schools should educate students not to trust downloadable files, and if they need to download from trusted sources only.
9. Don’t click random links
Like downloads, links that are on the internet should be opened with caution. Viruses can also enter a device via links. Pop-up scams and malicious connections containing viruses and spyware are particularly dangerous for students, so teach your children to never open an unknown link.
10. Use privacy settings in social media
Social media come with privacy settings which allow only your friends to see your content. You can check your students’ social media and know whether they have enabled these settings or not. Give a strict direction to enable those settings and keep them safe from online predators and hackers.
11. Be weary of online relationships
Online relationships are always risky, when you don’t know the other person in real life. If teens create connections, it isn’t a bad thing, but when they start to trust someone blindly, this creates a problem. Advise them to never trust anyone and not send pictures, especially nude, and private information, to anybody.
12. Create a cybersecurity course
As you gather all these ideas, you have the raw material of a true cybersecurity course. Make it available to your students, and maybe invite an expert to teach them some of the techniques like enabling an antivirus and windows defender, not opening links or downloading random material, and many others to protect themselves from the dangers of the online world.
13. Encourage them to report
You can motivate them to report to school when faced with online harassment, bullying, and predators. Give them advice in a friendly manner like their friend to easily convey their problems to you or their family.
14. Talk to your IT support provider
Take the contact details of your IT support and ask them to filter out all the inappropriate content. Your IT supporter can help to block unwanted content from the internet. Many schools have blocked Facebook, Instagram and many other social media that is popular with students.
15. Secure staff and student access
Some school staff may not be happy with your decision to restrict social media or other popular applications on the internet. So you can differentiate between student and staff access. You can even create two separate WiFis, one for staff and one for students.
Communication is an important medium that will help you understand what is happening with students. Provide counselling, not as a strict teacher but like a friend, to enable freer communication.
17. Keep up with technology
As you may know, today, children are techno-savvy. Students learn more about technology through friends, and by searching on the internet. So teachers must be up-to-date with technology as well. The more you know, the easier it becomes to develop ideas and help your students.
18. Provide resources to students
There are many educational programs available, but not all of them are reliable. Until suggesting or using educational materials, conduct research to ensure that others had a good experience in protection, online safety, and privacy. Make sure your educational materials helps students know more about internet safety.
19. Know the law of sexting
Sexting has been a severe issue, and there have been several occasions where private images and messages transmit more widely than the senders expected. Look at sexting rules, and make sure that everyone on your team is aware of what to do if they find signs of it at your school. Also, be prepared to discuss it with students and parents.
20. Only blocking sites doesn’t always help
Blocking dangerous websites at school is an intelligent thing, but that won’t prevent students from wanting to reach them. Explain to your students why pages are being banned, and teach them how to use the internet more effectively.
Keeping Students Safe Online – Conclusion
The school should always be a happy place for students. It should create memories that will last for a lifetime. Teenagers will be less vulnerable to danger if they have more experience. These suggestions will help you in keeping students safe online and educate them about how to navigate the internet. Apply these techniques and keep your school students safe from the dangers of the online world.
- Keeping students safe online
- Keeping safe online worksheets
- How to stay safe online facts
- How to be safe online tips
- How to keep students safe online
- How to keep information safe online