Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Tech Corner

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Tech Corner

Article excerpt

Internet Safety

What has 4.3 million hits in a Google search? The term ternet Safety for Kids" in the Search window. Nick Delegate from Maryland, prompted me to write this when he asked about NASP' s policy or position on net safety. There is no official policy and, although I had dressed this topic in my chapter inBest Practices V ("Best tices in Technology"), it has not been covered thoroughly this column.

I was impressed with the wide variety of agencies, nonprofit agencies, law enforcement, and focused sites that are concerned with Internet safety for What impressed me most as I researched background for this piece was the number of school districts that have tion posted on their district websites for teachers and ents. One of the best I found was in Nick's state of Maryland (see link below). They have an impressive array of advice and links to help any parent or teacher to understand and tor Internet safety.

I hope after you read this column you are able to say (a) already knew that and (b) I better help my district develop a website for this information if they do not already have Internet safety is everyone's job. If you do not yet know this information, I hope you will become more familiar with it as a school psychologist.

PARENTS AND INTERNET SAFETY

Set up your child's computer with parental blocking Most Internet Service Providers have software to do this. It is like a v-chip on your TV. Do not tell your child the password.

* Set up your computers in common areas of the living space. Everyone should be able to see them. No computers in their bedrooms.

* Know your child's password for all social networks (e.g., MySpace, Facebook, BeBo, etc.) and visit them regularly to see who is contacting your child.

* Instruct your child "not talk to strangers" or give out any personal information except first name. Some of the sexual predators can search for your address location from very limited information, including just a birthday.

* Instruct your child on the issues of cyberbullying and how to tell you about it. Monitor cell phone use and text messages for bullying and inappropriate contacts or chats.

* Wireless networks can enable others to monitor your computer or be used for criminal behavior. Bots are a significant issue. Set up your wireless network to block others from using it.

* Review the Internet and cell rules at least monthly with all family members.

* Software to obtain movies, music, etc. (e.g., Limewire) can corrupt your computer and leave your hard drive open for others to explore. It is called File Sharing. Your sensitive data can also be harvested. Some of these downloads are illegal, violate copyright, and can be traced to your specific computer. Universities are being hard hit and students are being sued.

* The Kentucky Attorney General's site notes that while 71% of parents report problems with children 6-18 on the Internet (including sexual content, bad language, etc.), only 10% stopped their child from using the Internet.

* If you have concerns about which sites your children are visiting, sit with them to look at sites or visit there first.

* Update your Spyware, firewalls, and virus software at least monthly. Research shows most people do not do this: 87% had this software but fewer than 50% had updated it in the past month. …

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