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Help Students Stay Safe Online

Staying connected is possible in the easiest way because of digital media and the internet. It plays a vital role in the education of students in today’s generation. Without the internet, education will be worthless as the education system is also shifting towards the new paradigm of society. It is breaking barriers every single day by bringing the ideas and minds of people together on one platform for the development of humans, which was nearly impossible 20 years ago.

Elders try to keep their family, accounts and their every information safe but being a student, they neglect the safety in order to use the internet fully without being aware of the consequences that it could bring to them. Everything has its downsides and so does the internet. Being educators, it is their responsibility to teach the students about both the positive and negative sides of technology. Students are the closest with technology and can be affected the most. Just one wrong step in the world of technology and they are in a grave danger. Here are some ways in which elders can help the students to stay safe on online platforms:

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  1. Policy For The Use Of Online Media:

    Online media is vast and attractive to grab the attention of students which makes them feel irresistible to stay away from it. Creating a policy must be the initial step towards the safety of students on online media. First, the elders or schools need to create policies about the internet usage everyday, every week or every month. Then they need to make the students understand these policies in a clear, correct and understandable way. They should tell the students about what they are expecting from them, how much internet they can use in the given time, what they should do on the internet, what are the things that need to be avoided and how they should communicate on the internet with others. Then give these policies to students and tell them to sign it before using the internet at schools or at homes. It will increase the understanding of online safety among students and will help them to take the internet more seriously.

  2. Teachings About Online Privacy:

    Privacy matters the most irrespective of the environment you are in. Students these days share their ids and passwords with their friends in order to maintain friendship and think that it will bring transparency in their relationship. Sharing their information will bring threats to them and they know it better. It does not mean that they need to block websites or not use any social media platforms. Maintaining online privacy means not sharing their or anyone else’s information with anyone. Teachers and parents should make them understand the ways the apps or websites the students use store their information and what information they need to share on the internet and what information they need to keep private. For example: Snapchat stores the messages on their server for 30 days, Making Facebook Id public will make the threats come to them easily and many more.

  3. Understanding Technology:

    Technological advancement has brought a revolution but staying away from technology will not solve anything. Today, technology is everywhere and without it nothing can be possible. Students are not fully aware of technological advancement. They turn to their friends on social media platforms or in classrooms for suggestions as they feel more comfortable talking to the people of their age rather than talking to any senior person as they feel that the elders are not fully acquainted with the technology and will be of no help to them. This is the reason, elders should stay up to date with the technologies and understand it deeper. They can talk about the changes in technology that can help the students to be knowledgeable about technological changes and share their issues related with technology to you rather than turning to the people they are not familiar with or students of their age who are not acquainted with technology. The more knowledge elders have about technology. The more they can help the students, the more the students will turn to them.

  4. Importance Of Digital Maintenance:

    The digital list of spelling might not be glamorous to understand but is essential for online safety. Learning about digital maintenance will help them to understand how they can download from the internet or upload things on the internet, what are the things that are legal and illegal to open or download, why creating backups of their files are necessary, giving access to their parents for emergencies, the importance of logging out from accounts rather than just simply closing the application or browser. It will create a sense of responsibility in them for being safe from online threats.For example: Uploading files on Google Drive for backup will help them to access the information if they lost the file from their desktop.

  5. Resources And Blocking:

    Education is shifting online and this is the major changer in the way a student learns and understands things. There are thousands of sites on the internet which provide online education but not all of them are the right options. Schools and teachers should give the students access to reliable and trustworthy sites for learning online. They should conduct research from security, privacy and safety perspectives before giving the students access to these websites.

Students, teachers and parents might think that blocking the sites will solve all their problems. Blocking sites can be the easiest way to stay away from online threats at school but it won’t stop the students from accessing these websites at other places. Instead of blocking, teachers and parents should talk about why these websites are being blocked or why the students should not open them. Tell them the best ways in which the internet can be used. Knowledge will stop the students from being vulnerable and will incorporate a sense of responsibility in them.