Posts Tagged ‘Cybersafety’

How Vulnerable are Your Students to Online Predators?

July 20, 2015



Online predators are around and they are very good at exacting personal information. Please share this video with your students and their parents. It just might make all the difference.



Click on the link to read The Truth About Those Internet Safety Myths

Click on the link to read Shaming Students is Never the Answer

Click on the link to read The Perfect Cyber Safety Clip for Parents to Watch With Their Kids
Click on the link to read 5 Internet Safety Rules to Share With Your Kids

Shaming Students is Never the Answer

October 7, 2014



If you really cared about the welfare of your students you would never shame them, even in order to make a point. If I became aware that a student’s profile picture was inappropriate I would deal with it thoughtfully and discreetly.

Not like this:


A 15-year-old says she was humiliated by a teacher who showed an enlarged picture of her in a bikini to more than 100 other students during a school assembly.

Children at Eggbuckland Community College in Plymouth, Devon, were shown the photograph taken from her Facebook profile to illustrate the pitfalls of posting private images online.

Unknown to the schoolgirl, who has not been named, staff had taken her swimwear photo off the internet.

It was blown up and added to a portfolio of other pictures then shown during a packed school assembly.

The shock tactic at the 1327-pupil specialist arts school left the girl distraught.

Her mother, who has now made an official complaint to Ofsted, said: ‘They took the photo from her Facebook profile – she put it on there last year.

‘They used other photos of kids from the neck up but for some reason they thought it was OK to use a picture of my daughter in her bikini.

‘Why did they have to use an image like that to make their point. Then they pointed her out in the assembly. She was really upset.

The teachers should have shown the students this instead.

Up to 1 in 10 US Students Have an Inappropriate Relationship With Their Teacher

August 16, 2014

andrea connersSurely there aren’t as many student/teacher relationships as suggested in this article. If it is anywhere near as bad as that, it is a terrible indictment on our profession:


Critics suggest that as many as one in 10 U.S. public school students — or about 4.5 million children — are involved in some kind of inappropriate teacher-student relationship.

But it’s not easy to identify — accusations involve everything from physical contact to inappropriate comments or looks — and can have a crippling effect not only on those involved but on the student body and their parents and educators.

“It’s devastating to the rest of our students,” said Dan Unger, president of the Northwest Local School District Board of Education. Two of the three teachers from his district have already been convicted and this year imprisoned. The third case is pending.

“When (the other students) think about the accomplishments of the class of 2014, they’ll think about that. This is what they will remember,” Unger said.

It’s become easier in a digital world where smart phones can dominate conversation, for teachers and students to communicate. That’s good when it’s used to discuss school work. But sometimes it can turn criminal.

“The biggest reason this occurs now is social media,” Abbott said.

A text, Facebook post, Instagram or Snapchat message can give teachers and students greater access to each other than ever before. All three of the Northwest Local School educators relied heavily on Snapchat, Facebook and text messages to communicate with the victimized students.

“It seems to be when the conversation goes private like that, the teacher says and does outrageous and outlandish things they’d never say in person,” Abbott said.

Those private contacts allow predatory educators to exploit students, enhancing the control teachers have over their students. Students want to be liked by or get attention from the educator.



Click on the link to read Facebook Exposes Yet Another Bad Teacher

Click on the link to read Why I Won’t Be Celebrating Facebook’s 10th Anniversary

Click on the link to read If You Ever Wondered How Some Kids Become Bullies …

Click on the link to read The Researchers into Cyberbullying Should Review Their Findings

Click on the link to read The Use of Facebook in Cyberbullying Activity

Click on the link to read A Positive Approach to Tackling Cyberbullying

The Perfect Cyber Safety Clip for Parents to Watch With Their Kids

August 3, 2014


I know I have posted this film before, but with the ongoing issues of social media and child safety, I think it is more apt than ever.


Click on the link to read 5 Internet Safety Rules to Share With Your Kids

Click on the link to read Introducing the App that will Give Parents Nightmares

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Rely on Free Speech Shouldn’t be Teachers

Click on the link to read Bullying is Acceptable when it’s Directed to a Teacher

Click on the link to read Punish Bullies and Then Change Your Culture

Top 10 Ways Children Hide Their Online Activity From Parents

July 2, 2012

It’s important to be aware of what your children do online. To achieve this one must also be aware of the “tricks” they pull in order to hide their activity.

A recent survey entitled, Teen Internet Behavior study released last week by McAfee, the online-security tech company, found that children are really good at covering their tracks.

The following are the top 10 ways children hide online behaviour from their parents:

-Clearing the browser history (53 percent)

-Closing/minimizing browser when a parent is around (46 percent)

-Hiding or deleting messages and videos (34 percent)

-Lying about online activities (23 percent)

-Using a computer parents don’t check (23 percent)

-Using an Internet-enabled mobile device (21 percent)

-Using privacy settings to make certain content viewable only by friends (20 percent)

-Using a browser’s private viewing mode (20 percent)

-Creating private email address unknown to parents (15 percent)

-Creating duplicate/fake social network profiles (9 percent)

Facebook’s Age Restictions are a Joke

July 1, 2012

Facebook are using their own lack 0f vigilance as an excuse to relax very important age restrictions. Instead of giving up on protecting minors, Facebook should try harder to stop under ages kids from accessing their own Facebook page:

Facebook is still mulling over whether to open its doors to those aged under 13, but in Malaysia, nearly 250,000 children, some as young as seven, have already signed up on the world’s biggest social network.

The young Internet users, like millions worldwide, have managed to avoid the age-restriction ruling by lying about their age, sometimes with the help of their parents.

Parents of Underage Facebook Users Should Be Reported: Principal

May 7, 2012

I am a big advocate of Facebook’s age requirement specifications. Children under 13 have no place having a Facebook page. They are simply too young to manage a Facebook page with maturity.

As much as I approve of the age requirements, everyone knows that underage kids have no difficulties getting their Facebook page and Primary schools are teaming with underage Facebook users. This poses deep concerns from a cybersafety and cyberbullying point of view.

However, to suggest that parents of underage children should be reported to child services, both cheapens the important role that child services play in the welfare of our children and labels well-meaning but naive parents as incompetent and unfit for the job:

The issue of underage children creating profiles on social networking sites like Facebook and how to control it can be a problem for both privacy and security — something one UK principal apparently believes should be taken further.

Sister site CNet reports that as there are so many underage children on Facebook — signed up with or without parental consent — one educator believes official, legal consequences for breaking the rules should be put in place.

The school principal of St. Whites School in the Forest of Dean, Paul Woodward, has reason to believe over half of the students in his school are on social networking sites including Facebook. However, the problem is that St. Whites School’s attending students are between the ages of 4 and 11 — far below Facebook’s minimum age in relation to its Terms of Service.

Woodward, speaking to the Daily Mail, believes this issue is serious, and it may be something that official channels should become involved in:

“It’s illegal for you to do this, you shouldn’t be doing it for your child. You need to close down that account, or I might have to tell the safeguarding people that you are exposing your child to stuff that’s not suitable.”

The ’safeguarding people’ are child-protection services, usually reserved for cases of abuse, domestic problems or suspicions of violence. Perhaps this could be considered a drastic move, but as online networks often contain material not suitable for children of a certain age, the logic is understandable. If parents facilitate their child’s access to such networks, then perhaps they can be considered culpable.

A survey completed earlier this year by company Minor Monitor indicated that while over 70 percent of parents were concerned with their child’s activities on Facebook, 38 percent of all children on the social networking site are under 13 — and 4 percent are under 6 years of age.

Facebook says it removes approximately 20,000 underage users daily, but it is also important to note that parents are creating profiles for their children. New parents — you may want to remove that profile you created for your baby. (They probably won’t appreciated their baby photos being online once they’ve grown anyway).

Educating parents is a far more workable strategy than threatening them. I have never heard of a Principal who has gone public with a threat to report half the parents in their school to social services. That’s courage for you!

I commend Mr. Woodward for his conviction and his desire to see that his students stay safe and follow the law. I just think that in doing so, he went way too far.

Keeping Kids Safe Online

February 5, 2012

I agree with Adam Turner. Cybersafety is something parents need to address. They have the primary duty to ensure that their children are following safe online practices.

As far as I’m concerned cybersafety is primarily a parent’s responsibility, just like teaching about stranger danger or how to cross the road safely. The fundamentals of cybersafety are no different to the real world; don’t wander off, don’t talk to strangers, don’t reveal too much about yourself and call a parent if you’re unsure of something.

Some parents might complain that it’s all too complicated, but it’s not if you take an interest in your children’s activities and take the time to learn the basics. Talk to them about computers and the internet. Ask them what they’re learning at school and what they’re doing at home. Take an interest, just as you should in their other activities. 

Turner suggests ways in which parents can better supervise their children:

A common cybersafety rule is that the computer stays in the living area, positioned in such a way that anyone who walks into the room can see what’s on the screen. If notebooks are permitted in the bedrooms for studying, perhaps it’s on the condition that they recharge on the kitchen bench at night. The same rule can apply for mobile phones, which can also help combat cyberbullying.

You can split cybersafety into two key areas. The first is protecting young children from accidentally stumbling across inappropriate content. This isn’t hard if you can set up a list of appropriate bookmarks and trust your kids not to wander. Installing an ad and pop-up blocker offers an extra layer of protection. If children can’t be trusted not to wander, even by accident, you might consider a whitelist plug-in for your browser, which lets you limit access to a specific list of sites.

The second area of cybersafety is hindering older children who are deliberately seeking inappropriate content. This area is much harder to deal with, as smart and determined kids will find a workaround to just about any security measure (remember, help is only a Google search away).

There’s a big market for desktop filtering software, but don’t walk away and trust it to do a parent’s job. In my experience it tends to cripple your computer, but your mileage may vary. If you do want to restrict internet access, look at services that are independent of your end device – particularly useful if your house contains a variety of internet-enabled gadgets.

It’s worth investigating the filtering options built into wireless routers. Some let you create blacklist and whitelists, or switch off the internet at specific times. You could even run a separate wireless network for the children, making it easier to control their access without affecting your own. Another filtering option is DNS-level services such as OpenDNS. 

Whilst teachers should also take an interest in cybersafety issues, it’s up to the parents to take the lead.

New Facebook Craze Branded “A Paedophile’s Paradise”

November 22, 2011

Some fads are just harmless fun. Many would argue that the Sneaky Hat craze falls under that category. Sneaky Hat, which refers to the practice of taking a photo of yourself naked with nothing more than a hat to cover your private parts, is not “harmless”. Kids that take part in it are not just stupid and foolish. They are reckless in the extreme:

The Sneaky Hat trend has been branded a ”paedophile’s paradise” and involves mostly young people posing in nothing but a hat covering their genitals.

Countless Facebook pages and other sites, open for anyone to see, have sprung up showing male and female teens in provocative poses after reportedly originating at a Queensland Highschool.

Cyber safety campaigner Susan Mclean said contributors to the fad were not only staining their futures but risking child pornography charges.

”It’s no use saying its just fun, it’s harmless fun, the consequences can be quite severe,” she said.

”It is going to end in tears and those pictures – it’s not like sending it on your phone to your boyfriend who may or may not send it on – this is on www (world wide web).

“They’re on public sites, anyone can see them and people are posting them with their names, they’re proud of the photos,” Ms Mclean, founder of Cyber Safety Solutions said.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said they were monitoring the trend but a Victoria Police spokesperson said there had been no reports they knew of in Victoria.

Parents, please do want you can to make sure your children don’t entertain the idea of sharing their hats with the world.

Parents Helping Their Children Lie To Get On Facebook

November 2, 2011

To those parents who are contemplating assisting their underage children to get on Facebook, I strongly suggest you reconsider.  The age requirements for Facebook is necessary, as Facebook has a clear downside.  From cybersafety issues to cyberbullying, Facebook is clearly not designed for pre-teens.

Almost all parents of ten-year-olds signing up for the site – 95 percent – were aware of what their children were doing, and 78 percent of those helped them do it.

“Although many sites restrict access to children, our data show that many parents knowingly allow their children to lie about their age — in fact, often help them to do so — in order to gain access to age–restricted sites in violation of those sites’ ToS,” the authors write.

“This is especially true for general–audience social media sites and communication services such as Facebook, Gmail, and Skype, which allow children to connect with peers, classmates, and family members for educational, social, or familial reasons.”

The survey found that 55 percent of 12-year-olds, 32 percent of 11-year-olds and 19 percent of 10-year-olds were active Facebook members.

The authors suggest that the COPPA rules may need re-examination, given that they appear only to be encouraging parents to lie. Universal, rather than age-based, privacy protecitons might make more sense, they say.

The full report is here.

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