As the population of social media tools grows rapidly across the world, the information we share has the ability to reach far beyond the walls of each classroom. As these tools become more popular, our students need to become responsible and aware users. Here is a list of recommendations for all PeruCSD Students:
Be your own person. Don’t let friends or strangers pressure you to be someone you aren’t. And know your limits. You may be internet savvy, but people and relationships change, and unexpected stuff can happen on the internet.
Be nice online. Or at least treat people the way you’d want to be treated. People who are nasty and aggressive online are at greater risk of being bullied or harassed themselves. If someone’s mean to you, try not to react, definitely don’t retaliate, and talk to a trusted adult or a friend who can help. Use privacy tools to block the meanies.
Think about what you post. Sharing provocative photos or intimate details online, even in private emails, can cause you problems later on. Even people you consider friends can use this info against you, especially if they become ex-friends.
Passwords are private. Don’t share your password even with friends. It’s hard to imagine, but friendships change and you don’t want to be impersonated by anyone. Pick a password you can remember but no one else can guess. One trick: Create a sentence like “I graduated from King School in 15” for the password “IgfKSi15.”
Be Cautious of Friend Requests. Sure, it’s great to connect with new people through social people… but isn’t there something suspicious when a complete stranger sends you a friend request?Play it safe and only accept friend requests from friends in the real world. Apart from the obvious (more severe) threats… friend requests from strangers more commonly turn out to be spam bots (meaning you’ll be spamming your friends). Fake profiles are also created for cyber bullying. So when a new friend request comes in, and you think you know the person, be sure to check their profile first and see if anything looks fishy.
Don’t talk about sex with strangers. Be cautious when communicating with people you don’t know in person, especially if the conversation starts to be about sex or physical details. Don’t lead them on – you don’t want to be the target of a predator’s grooming. If they persist, call your local police or contact CyberTipline.com.
Avoid in-person meetings. The only way someone can physically harm you is if you’re both in the same location, so – to be 100% safe – don’t meet them in person. If you really must get together with someone you “met” online, don’t go alone. Have the meeting in a public place, tell a parent or some other solid backup, and bring some friends along.
Don’t measure your own life based on what others post. People typically post happy photos and stories online and don’t usually share their boring or sad moments or unflattering photos. Don’t assume that others have better lives than you do, based on what they post.
Be smart when using a smartphone. All the same tips apply with phones as with computers along with some extra precautions. Be careful who you give your number to and how you use GPS and other technologies that can pinpoint your physical location. Be sure to secure your phone with a PIN, password, fingerprint or facial recognition. And make sure you know how to log into the iCloud or Android Find my Device so you can remotely locate, ring or erase a lost or missing phone.