Internet Safety in 2021 – Is It Important for Students Even More Now?

With the advancement in modern technology, students in the modern world are surrounded by technology. Be it school, coaching centers, or at home, the internet plays a crucial role in the education of children. Therefore, as a teacher, you must teach kids how to be safe on the internet while preparing for exams or completing school assignments. 

In this post today, we have come up with some of the best safety tips parents and teachers must follow to ensure internet safety in 2021 for kids. While setting up technology in the classroom or study space and home, you must keep the following in mind. Let the scrolling begin! 

Keeping Kids Safe on The Internet – Why Is It Important? 

Before we tell you why safe internet is crucial for students in 2021, let us take a look at some of the stats about internet safety in 2021 and kids. Have a look: 

  • Nearly 70% of kids and teens come across images and videos that are not suitable for them while surfing the internet. 
  • Out of all the kids and teens who use social apps, nearly 23% of them do not know how to control who can see their profiles. 
  • Since the internet has become a sole part of modern-day education, 29% of parents allow their kids to use it without any restrictions. 

Now, while there are tons of things on the internet that may be unsuitable for kids, it is impossible to stop them from using it altogether. A student will have to join social media and use various websites on the web to keep themselves up to date with their peers, modern educational trends, and various competitive exams. 

In such a case, the only option teachers and parents have is to make sure that the students know how to be safe on the internet. Let us see how they can do so. 

Top 10 Tips to Educate Students on Internet Safety in 2021

Here are the 10 internet safety in 2021 tips for teachers and parents you must know: 

Integrate the Use of the Internet to Avoid Curiosity 

Rather than telling students to stay off the internet most of the time, make it a part of their day-to-day lives. Doing so will make them less curious about it, and they will not explore it on their own. For instance, rather than asking kids to write in their journal, parents, and teachers can help them set up a blog for it. Also, monitor it timely. 

If the kid is under the age of 16, they can use a pseudonym. Also, kids must refrain from adding any personal details to the blog. It can be anything ranging from their address and phone number to birthday and email addresses. 

To make the blog useful, give them topics about what they want to be when they grow up to write on it. Some other things that they can write about include something they are passionate about or funny stories from when they were younger. 

Come Up with Rules for Safe Internet Usage 

Teachers and parents can also come up with some rules or a media pledge to hold students accountable for online safety. Before that, make sure to educate them on the topic. You can set 5-10 rules that the kids must agree to follow to use the internet. Some of these rules can be the following: 

  • Always tell an elder if something online makes you uncomfortable, scared, or sad. 
  • Do not meet any stranger from the internet face-to-face ever. 
  • You need to use proper internet etiquette and be kind online. 
  • Kids must think before they post anything. Make sure to avoid posting content that can put you or your future at risk. 
  • Beware of online harassment and cyberbullying. They are serious crimes. 

Make Sure Kids Know About Digital Footprints. 

You must tell students that any information and activity that they do on the internet comes with consequences. If they are not careful about what they post online, it can come back to haunt them later or, even worse, become public. 

Students must also know that it is almost impossible to completely get rid of any information online once it gets there. Some images they share as a kid may come to haunt them in their teens and may also lead to harassment and bullying. Thus, they need to be very careful of the digital footprints they leave. 

Always Be Polite Online 

When it comes to all the interactions kids have online, they must not forget to be kind and polite. Students must know that just as their words are important in person, they are the same on the internet. Students often as a prank misbehaves during online classes. This disturbs others and harms everyone’s studies.  

Apart from this while asking questions online one has to be very careful. While texting, it is difficult to understand the tone of the message. NEVER WRITE IN ALL CAPS, as it gives the receiver the impression of you shouting at them.  

Help Them Understand with Present Real-Life Situations 

Another thing that you can do is, help students understand how to be safe on the internet with the help of real life. Create them to help kids know all about the dos and don’ts of browsing the internet. For instance, you can tell them a story about how sharing an inappropriate photo online affected someone.  

Ask Questions 

Parents and teachers can also create an open dialogue about internet safety. They can ask students questions in a way that will let them know about their favorites and also keep them safe. For instance, you can ask them about their favorite site to visit on the web. With this, you can know if the kid is browsing any unsafe website.  

Other things you can ask them to include are what they enjoy doing online, their online friends, how they plan to stay safe online, etc. Further, parents can even ask their kids to teach them how to be safe online. It is another great way to understand if they know about online safety. Make sure your kids know they can share it with you if anything on the web makes them unsafe or sad. 

Make Use of Course Management Systems 

For all middle and high school students, teachers can make use of course management systems to communicate better with them. You can not only make sure that they are safe on the web with them but also use them to assign homework, assignments, projects, etc. 

Limit the Usage of Websites 

At home, parents can make use of parental controls to restrict unwanted websites for kids. The schools can follow the same. Make sure that kids have access to kid-friendly websites only. The same goes for their cell phones. If possible, the applications and the content on their phone must be kid-friendly, as well.  

Try to Make Internet Safety in 2021 Fun 

Why do kids rush to use the internet? Simple, because it is fun! So, make sure internet safety in 2021 is fun too. You can find various such tools online that can help you teach kids about how to be safe on the web. Google’s Interland is one such tool you can use to make kids do the right thing while using the internet. 

Always Keep Your Profile Clean 

Since kids learn a lot from their teachers and parents, it is essential for them to have a flawless social media presence, as well. They must keep their profile clean and private. Also, avoid uploading pictures containing inappropriate language, alcohol, or related content. 

Final Thoughts

So, this is how parents and teachers can teach students about internet safety in 2021. With it, they will be able to use the web to their utmost benefit, especially in times when the internet is crucial for education. 

Times have now come to a point where it is essential for both, the parents and the teachers, to become tech-friendly. Instead of making your children count its flaws, it would be helpful to make the most out of it.