Part of the CyberSense Series
What harm could come from sitting leisurely at the computer, chatting with online pals? Unfortunately, many young people who spend hours in chat rooms or post sensitive information on the Internet have little or no idea of the risks involved.
This program warns students about how vulnerable they are whenever they venture into the cyber realm—even when they think they’re among “friends.” Explaining how to take precautions in chat rooms, on social networking sites, and anywhere that predators lurk, the program strongly advises against physically meeting any online acquaintance and emphasizes that parents or guardians must be involved in such meetings. Commentary from experts and questions from peers reinforce the notion of an irreversible virtual footprint—a trail that all Internet users leave which can be used against them.
1. Online Social Networking Puts Teens at Risk. Teenagers are exposed to threats in cyberspace, particularly through social networking websites. Cyber safety includes personal safety, information safety, situational safety, and privacy issues. Teens feel safe because they think they are anonymous.
2. Cyber Safety Tips for Teens. Teens must take precautions about communicating with strangers online. Teens must keep personal information such as full name or social security numbers private from strangers, and not post photos, or reveal where they attend school.
3. Teens in Danger From Online Postings. Teens must keep screen names relatively neutral and not reveal too much about themselves online. Stalkers and predators are very good at extracting information from teens that may put the teens in danger.
4. Online Privacy for Teens. Many networking sites allow teens to choose various privacy settings. Teens are urged to maintain "the sanctity of their friends list" and to keep their passwords private even from their closest friends.
5. Internet Postings Are Never Private. Online information is irrevocable. Teens often wish they could take back what they posted online. No one knows what will happen to information that they post online--it belongs to millions of Internet users worldwide once it is posted.
6. Cyber Stalking and Abductions. Teens must be aware that flirting with strangers online can be dangerous. Cyber stalking and real-life abductions can result from sharing too much information with online strangers. Never physically meet any online acquaintances.
Grade: 6-8, 9-12
Time: 20 Minutes