Lesson 2

Internet Safety

 

Lesson Goal:

To encourage children to practice safety skills while working on the Internet.

 

Lesson Objectives:

  • Know not to give out personal information on the Internet.
  • Understand that not all Internet sites provide reliable and valid information.

 

Content Standards Addressed:

Common Core State Standards

National Standards

 

The Internet serves as a communication network, game room and information center. The wealth of information that it holds is valuable, but if used improperly it can be extremely dangerous. Chat rooms and instant messaging, popular with young people, present many dangers. Child predators are a great concern for many parents of children using the Internet. Certain measures must be taken to ensure children's safety. 

Some basic rules to follow while using the Internet include:

  • Never give out personal information (name, phone number, address) over the Internet.
  • If you are old enough to have your own password, make sure it is a combination of numbers and letters. These codes are harder for hackers to crack. Don't use obvious passwords, like your birthdate or name.
  • Never give out your password to anyone.
  • Never tell someone you meet online that you will meet him or her in person.
  • Follow your parents' rules and expectations while online.
  • If a person or website makes you feel uncomfortable or is hostile, get out of the site and discuss it with your parents.
  • Create a family Internet agreement that outlines the expectations and rules while online at home.
  • Be aware of viruses that may affect your computer. These may be found in emails. Have virus protection software for your computer.

The law states that kids under 13 must have the permission of their parents to have their own password and give out personal information to a website (Federal Trade Commission, 2000). Financial theft on the Internet is common and has been a problem, because kids will give out their parent's information to buy products online. This is another reason to reinforce the rule of not giving out information online.

Another concern among this age group is the type of information that is obtained. Most kids who get their information from the Internet do not question whether it is valid or not. Anyone can design a web page and post it on the Internet. To make sure the website is reliable and valid, cross check the information with other websites. Identify the URL (Uniform Resource Locator). The source of the URL is an indicator of the validity and reliability of the source.

 

 

Common URLs include:

  • .org - nonprofit organization.
  • .gov - government agency.
  • .edu - educational institution or student account.
  • .com - commercial business for profit (watch out for propaganda).

Look for ​the author's information, date of the source and how well the source checks with other sources on the same subject to determine reliability and validity.

 

Activities:

Internet Pen Pal

1. The leader may find a leader or teacher in another state or country to be pen pals with the group.

2. Make sure the group still follows the Internet safety rules to send email messages to far-away pen pals.

 

Internet Research Paper

1. Assign the participants a research assignment in which they may only use resources obtained from the Internet.

2. Stress that the Internet sources must be reliable and valid resources.

3. Some of the topics may include: teen Internet safety, stories about teens that have gotten into trouble by not following online safety rules and downloading music online.

 

Internet Safety Advertising Campaign

In small groups, have students brainstorm ideas to develop an Internet safety advertisement designed to educate others. The advertisement should be interesting and informative, like the "Stop Smoking" or "What's Your AntiDrug" advertisements. Each group should:

  1. Select a danger or risk associated with a specific Internet use, such as giving out personal information in chat rooms, meeting people offline that you first met online, downloading strange files or getting a computer virus.
  2. Brainstorm and list specific things that people can do to better protect themselves from specific dangers. (Don't give your telephone number or address onlline. Do not respond to s harassing message and tell a trusted adult.) These tips should be descriptive and detailed.
  3. Have students design and develop the advertisement. Each student should start with the danger or risk selected by the group. Also, advertisements should include the brainstormed tips for staying safer online.
  4. Advertisements can be in different formats. (This is up to the teacher's discretion). Students can design posters, brochures, PowerPoint presentations or website pages. If students design posters or brochures, computer animation, magazine pictures or artwork can be used.

 

Leader's Fast Facts:

1. Of the 32,000 leads reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's (NCMEC) CyberTipLine (www.missingkids.com/cybertipline), 2,262 are "online enticement" cases and the vast majority of those started out in a chat room, according to Ruben Rodriquez, director of NCMEC's Exploited Child Unit. (Magid, L. Help children know the risks of chat rooms. Retrieved Aug. 8, 2003.)

2. 67 percent of online teens (ages 13 to 18) and 37 percent of online children (ages 5 to 12) have researched product items or bought products online. (National Institute on Media and the Family. Retrieved Aug. 8, 2003.)