We are so grateful to have these chromebooks for our children to use and learn from. But with any blessing comes responsibility and keeping our kids safe while they are online is of the utmost importance to us.
Before a child is ever issued a chromebook to use at HLWM, they will be required to sit in on a “safety class” at the beginning of each year. During the class, students will be taught age-appropriately the different things they can and should not do while on the internet.
Each child will learn in varying degrees the dangers that lurk on the internet. How to use safe usernames without giving away your name, location, or description of yourself. This is especially important as children get into playing games and chatting on the internet. It is very easy to describe yourself without realizing that firstname.lastname@example.org can tell a stranger so much!
A strong piece of staying safe whether a parent is texting a child or not is to have a SECRET Safety word that they can use. If mom was not able to text Jorge from her regular phone, how would he know it is her? By identifying yourself with a safety word on the phone or online can help keep the children safe. We suggest parents practice safety with their children and create opportunities to test them to see how much info they will give away about themselves.
While a young child may learn minimal in safety because their online world is heavily guarded in parent controls, the young adults sometimes forget to be safe too. A preditor posing with a picture as a handsome high schooler in the next town might get a young girl blushing enough to give out information.
We live in a crazy world these days. Keep your children safe.