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How to Encourage Responsible Online Behavior Among Young Students



There are almost two billion websites on the internet, and it’s improbable to visit all of them in one sitting. However, it may only take one visit to a malicious page to cause severe harm to a young student.


Cyberspace is a new frontier in information technology. However, as with the old frontiers, this landscape is still dangerous, especially for the unprepared.


Young students are at the forefront of this new environment, and it’s the role of teachers and parents to ensure their safety and prepare them as they journey through cyberspace.


To ensure that your students are prepared to navigate cyberspace, you must first teach them the basics. One of the essential things to learn is responsible online behavior. But what does this mean, and how do you teach this behavior to young students?


What are the repercussions of misbehaving online? What about the consequences of not being responsible when surfing the net or interacting with people online? How can you ensure that you, your kids, or your students don’t fall victim to cyber threats, scammers, and hackers?


This article will help you teach young students how responsible online behavior is crucial to remain safe when using the internet. Also, you’ll get an idea of the possible cyber threats, risks, and consequences of internet surfing without any safeguards.


Finally, you’ll get a checklist of things to remember and apply, so your students or kids know how to behave responsibly online.


Responsible online behavior is crucial for the safety of young students accessing the internet. The internet is now deeply connected to education, mainly since online and remote learning models have become popular during the pandemic.


Responsible behavior is not only developed in school but initially taught and nurtured at home through the help of parents. In households where parents no longer live together for various reasons, co-parenting is often the preferred solution.


Co-parenting is an agreement between separated parents to support their child's growth despite them no longer living together.


You can visit this page to understand co-parenting arrangements and how such a setup can still develop responsible behavior in kids.


Learning proper behavior in online and offline situations is crucial for young students. This type of behavior can help kids and teens avoid the dangers that may come from the environment they’re living in, including this modern, high-speed gateway of information called cyberspace.


Teaching the Youth Responsible Behavior Online


One of the effective ways of teaching behavior to children and young students is through encouragement. To encourage young students to behave responsibly, you should tell them the importance of such behavior.


The benefits of behaving responsibly online are the following:


● Young students will have a better experience in their online journey


● Young students will know how to use the internet to their advantage


● Young students will be able to use the internet as a treasure trove of practical knowledge


● Young students will be able to connect with other responsible digital citizens online


After teaching students these benefits, you can start discussing responsible online behavior and what they need to do to remain safe online.


Here are things you can teach young students to encourage proper online behavior.


1. Protect your privacy: Being a responsible internet user means ensuring that your privacy is always protected. Students can do this by observing the following tips:

a. Share personal information only when necessary


b. Ensure social media accounts privacy settings are updated, especially for minors


c. Secure passwords by using password managers, like Dashlane or LastPass


d. Disable location settings on devices when not needed


2. Correctly discerning which websites to visit: Teach kids to visit sites approved by the school and parents. Ensure that students understand the dangers of visiting dubious web pages as they surf online.

You should also tell students to be wary of malicious links or attachments they may encounter on social media sites, instant messaging apps, or email.


3. Promote proper online etiquette: Young students and kids should learn to act responsibly online. Social media should not be a place to vent anger and emotions or to spread hate to others.

4. Promptly address problems: Teach young students, especially kids and teens, to be open with problems they’ve encountered online.

Cyberbullying is a serious concern because some kids are not open to teachers and parents about their experiences of being bullied.


Understanding the Dangers Lurking in Cyberspace


Online threats are real. These threats can harm people physically, financially, and emotionally. Kids and young students are especially at risk when they surf online unprotected. Here are some of the threats young students may encounter online:


1. Cyberbullying: Teens see cyberbullying as a severe concern they can encounter online. One of the venues where cyberbullying occurs is social media sites, where victims receive hateful comments, online ridicule, and even blackmail.

2. Sexual predators: Kids and teens are vulnerable online, especially if they don’t know how to protect themselves from cyber threats.

Sexual predators use fake accounts and hide behind online personas to reach out and communicate with minors. Teachers and parents should remind their students and kids never to entertain messages from strangers online.


3. Phishing, malware, and identity theft: Hackers and people with ill intent can send malicious links to invade, steal, or take over your files, private data, and even your physical gadgets. These malicious malware programs and attachments are often disguised as links luring kids to click and compromise their safety.


Reference


1. How Many Websites Are There? – The Growth of The Web (1990–2022) https://firstsiteguide.com/how-many-websites/

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