Online Safety for Children is Everybody’s Job, Especially Parents

According to a recent AVG Technologies survey, parents rely heavily on teachers for the online education of their children. With technological advancements and a growing number of districts resorting to online curriculums, there is a definite need for students to understand proper online etiquette and procedure. But should teachers absorb full responsibility of this task?


Research from AVG Technologies identifies gap in child online safety training and support for teachers (PRNewsFoto/AVG Technologies)

Teachers are constantly at the forefront of policy discussions when it comes to the problems in education. Aside from delivering instruction, they must also work tirelessly as counselors, nurturers, referees, cooks, and confidants. Wearing multiple hats can take an emotional toll on an individual who may have a family of his/her own. As a former teacher, it is natural to want to ensure that students receive the proper training to be forward thinking citizens in every aspect. It is equally important to have the necessary resources and training to work in conjunction with parents.

As a parent, the expectation is that the school provide resources, tools, and experiences that align with the goals that I have for my child. Students spend more time at school than at home, and every adult in the building has a moral responsibility to ensure safety in all endeavors on school grounds. If students are doing a lot of learning online, then there should be an equally supportive online education program.

The best way to tackle the problem is to balance parent expectation with teacher knowledge. 82% of teachers, surveyed globally, believe parents are “passing the buck.” But parents concern may be worth noting. A large majority of teachers are using online content in their lessons, however only one-fourth are actually teaching internet safety. This is not solely the teacher’s fault, however. Most schools have guidelines in place, but do not provide the necessary teacher training and resources. Either parents exercise patience in waiting on school implementation and instruction, or parents can take responsibility for their own children.


Here are a few tips from to help raise your digital kids:

  • Remain positively engaged: Pay attention to and know the online environments your children use. Surf the Internet with them. Appreciate your children’s participation in their online communities and show interest in their friends. Try to react constructively when they encounter inappropriate material. Make it a teachable moment.
  • Teach critical thinking: Help your children identify safe, credible Web sites and other digital content, and be cautious about clicking on, downloading, posting, and uploading content. –
  • Explain the implications: Help your children understand the public nature of the Internet and its risks as well as benefits. Be sure they know that any digital info they share, such as emails, photos, or videos, can easily be copied and pasted elsewhere, and is almost impossible to take back. Things that could damage their reputation, friendships, or future prospects should not be shared electronically.
  • Help them be good digital citizens: Remind your children to be good “digital friends” by respecting personal information of friends and family and not sharing anything about others that is potentially embarrassing or hurtful.
  • Stay current: Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online: The online world is ever-changing. New services with great features continually emerge. Knowing about them and how young people use them can help you better understand the digital life your children experience as well as any concerns you may have for your children.

See full list of tips.






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