Be Internet Awesome

 

February 5th, 2019 is Safer Internet Day (SID). A promotional Holiday for kids all over the globe. Safer Internet Day aims to not only create a safer internet but also a better internet, where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.

 

“The campaign aims to reach out to children and young people, parents and carers, teachers, educators, and social workers, as well as industry, decision makers and politicians, to encourage everyone to play their part in creating a better internet. By celebrating the positive power of the internet, the Safer Internet Day slogan of Together for a better internet encourages everyone to join the movement, to participate, and to make the most of the internet’s potential to bring people together. With a global, community-led approach, Safer Internet Day encourages everyone to come together and play their part.”

 

Safer Internet Day U.S. is made possible by the generous support of Comcast, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Snapchat, Symantec/LifeLock, Oculus, Trend Micro, and Twitter.

 

To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.

 

The core of the education practices is to teach children, ultimately, how to be “Internet Awesome”. The fundaments are in The Internet Code of Awesome, which states:

BE INTERNET SMART
Share with Care

Good (and bad) news travels fast online, and without some forethought, kids can find themselves in tricky situations that have lasting consequences. The solve? Learning how to share with those they know and those they don’t.

 

BE INTERNET ALERT
Don’t Fall for Fake

It’s important to help kids become aware that people and situations online aren’t always as they seem. Discerning between what’s real and what’s fake is a very real lesson in online safety.

 

BE INTERNET STRONG
Secure Your Secrets

Personal privacy and security are just as important online as they are offline. Safeguarding valuable information helps kids avoid damaging their devices, reputations, and relationships.

 

BE INTERNET KIND
It’s Cool to Be Kind

The Internet is a powerful amplifier that can be used to spread positivity or negativity. Kids can take the high road by applying the concept of “treat others as you would like to be treated” to their actions online, creating a positive impact for others and disempowering bullying behavior

Apps to Keep an Eye Out For

 

You never want to be known as a helicopter parent, but it is also a parents job to keep their children safe. Keeping up with teens and pre-teens can be exhausting in itself and adding technology into the mix only exacerbates it. To keep in the know we’ve researched the top Apps and Websites to educate yourself on and to help keep your kids safe.

 

Ask.Fm

If you were familiar with the website Formspring- This app is essentially a 2.0 version. The app allows people to ask questions and invites comments anonymously from users. It also allows you to post anonymous questions. Kids sometimes target one person and the questions get vulgar. It is cyberbullying with no chance of ever getting caught. A user’s account can quickly fill up with a stream of anonymous, hurtful messages that may or may not be coming from people you know. In an extreme case back in 2013, it was linked to the tragic death of 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick. Rebecca became one of the youngest members of a growing list of children and teenagers apparently driven to suicide, at least in part, after being maligned, threatened and taunted online, mostly through a new collection of texting and photo-sharing cellphone applications.

 

Kik Messenger

This app has landed itself on multiple lists for parents to watch out for. Kik Messenger, commonly called Kik, is a freeware instant messaging mobile app from the Canadian company Kik Interactive. KiK does not offer any parental controls and there is no way of authenticating users, thus making it easy for sexual predators to use the app to interact with minors.

 

Hiding Apps Aka-Calculator%

Sedgrid Lewis, online safety expert, notes that these apps look like a normal calculator app but when you enter a password using the buttons within the app they can hide all inappropriate pictures. “It’s a key way teens are hiding their nude pictures from their parents,” said Lewis. This app or more commonly used by boys to keep lued photos private and are usually sent in mass messages.

In 2015, there was a headline-making case in a Colorado high school where teens used apps to hide a huge sexting ring from parents and school.

 

Omegle

Omegle’s tagline is “Talk to Strangers!”. This website came out back in 2008 and is very similar to Chatroulette

Omegle is a free online video chatting website that allows users to socialize with others without the need to register. The service randomly pairs users in one-on-one chat sessions where they chat anonymously using the names “You” and “Stranger” or “Stranger 1” and “Stranger 2” in the case of Spy mode”. It is famous for sexual predators trying to lure young children into inappropriate behaviors. Nothing good can come from this site.