Thanks to the digital age and the internet, students across the globe are connected, more than ever. Being online and coming across the latest research, technical papers and findings create hunger in students to learn. They strive to learn more and connect by being online on their smartphones, tablets and other devices.
While the internet is a productive tool for any student and works as the only communication tool in online learning, it has its downsides as well.
All guardians, parents, and adults, including the teachers, have the responsibility to explain the cons and pros of the internet simultaneously. They should not be forced to stop using the internet just because an online stalker is waiting for them to leak personal information.
Parents and teachers are in a unique position to help students who are impressionable to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using the internet. Students’ online safety is one of the top concerns for parents. Hence, we have compiled some tips on how to keep students of any age safe on the internet:
Understand the school’s policy of a student’s privacy
While indefinite school closures seem like a perfect time to develop online learning skills in students, one must be careful and adhere to the school’s policy regarding a student’s privacy. As a teacher, you must know and understand what to and what not to share.
Do not share the students’ names publicly
Avoid sharing students’ names on the internet or elsewhere to keep them safe from online stalkers. When sharing artwork or activity online, be vigilant in blurring the names. The same set of privacy rules go for sharing a student’s picture publicly.
However, if you are in doubt and do not want to risk a student’s online safety, crop the picture to hide the student’s face. If you cannot, place an emoji to hide the identity, at least.
Always use school-related email addresses
Never use a student’s personal email address for school-related work or communication. To ensure online safety, you must only communicate or send homework through a school-granted email address.
School-granted email addresses have necessary cybersecurity measures to protect one’s online safety. They do what they can to put up various firewalls so no hacker can hack into the email accounts. One of the most common email scams is phishing. However, school-granted email addresses have fine protection against them.
Choose the device and technology wisely
Often, schools recommend using approved applications and devices for educational purposes. Teachers should stick to using approved applications only as non-educational tools do not have the necessary protection tools to conceal a person’s identity. While we cannot control what students use, we can teach them to be careful on platforms with various privacy risks.
Conclusion – Safety online for students
Teaching is not limited to online classes only. Rather, it also involves preparing students for the challenges they might face when using both educational and non-educational platforms. Teachers and parents alike must teach students the art of using online tools with safety and security in mind.