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     Staying Safe & Secure
     
     
    Click this link and watch the video that illustrates this idea.
     
    Like everything else in the world, it takes time and practice to become a good digital citizen. This begins with safety. It's important to protect yourself and stay safe online.
     
    Students can begin protecting themselves in our digital world very easily by remembering some simple rules and practicing them everyday.
     
    1. Have a secure password for Google Student and other internet sites you subscribe to.
    2. Protect your personal information by not sharing that information with anyone online.
    3. Learn to logout anytime you leave a computer workstation or complete a class activity. 
     
    A strong password is one that is easy for you to remember. It may help to keep a copy of your passwords written in a secure location, in case you forget. The password help webquest had a good suggestion for a safe password location in your agenda book.
     
    logout  
    Don't forget! 
     
     
    Following password tips and keeping personal information private is not enough. You also need to be aware of your surroundings on the internet. This requires you to judge situations online just as you would in a real world situation.
     
     
    Many students have encountered situations where others are doing the wrong thing. Maybe it was an act of vandalism in a bathroom in school, or they witnessed a situation where someone else was being bullied. There is an uncomfortable feeling that occurs when it's clear that bad things are happening.
     
     
    What do you do when you get that feeling?
     
     
    Some people don't know what to do, and that's okay. That's the practice part. The question is there, but students might not have all the answers.  Here's some tips...
     
    Know your surroundings...
     
    Is the environment safe?
     
    Am I going to get into trouble if I stay here any longer?
     
    Is there any danger that someone can get hurt?
     
     
    These are questions to ask yourself when that feeling comes to mind. It works in real life, and can also help to keep you safe online. You should be listening to that voice in your head online if the questions pop up.
     
     
     caution
     
     
    Online questions to keep you safe are very similar. Is the environment safe? Are people saying or doing inappropriate things on this website? Does something feel strange about the website I am looking at? Do I really know this person I am talking to online? Are they asking me inappropriate questions that's asking personal information?
     
     
     
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    Strategies for Staying Safe
     
    Every student has the power to stay safe online. Computers aren't grabbing kids and harming them like zombies. That's because kids are smarter than zombies and can control themselves in online situations. It's important to know the strategies and practice them whenever we're online as a good digital citizen.
     
     
     
    Digital Citizen Strategy #1 - Don't go looking for trouble!
     
    Keep your online searches safe and try to be very specific with your search terms when using a search engine. If an inappropriate site or image pops up when you click, simply close the page immediately. Ignore the image if it comes up on an images page and don't call attention to the bad words on the page. It can happen, so you need a strategy for how to handle yourself and be safe.
     
     
     
    Digital Citizen Strategy #2 - Talk to a trusted adult!
     
    Sometimes it's best to ask for advice when something happens that makes you feel uncomfortable. A trusted adult is anyone you know that would keep you safe in an emergency like a fire or a bad storm. They can be your parents, older brothers and sisters, grandparents, teachers, policemen and women, or a school counselor. These are people who can offer good advice for helping in difficult situations.
     
     
     
    Digital Citizen Strategy #3 - The power to walk away!
     
    What you do online is your choice. You are making the decision to be online and it's important to remember that you have the power to visit or not visit websites that are making you feel uncomfortable. If someone is saying mean things to you, walk away. If they are saying mean things about you, tell a trusted adult. They may be committing a crime. 
     
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    (video source © 2001-2014 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) 
Last Modified on February 7, 2017