Growing up I have always been heavily aware of the consequences of not being careful enough on the internet. For a while I thought my mum was just really paranoid because she didn’t grow up with the internet like I did but I soon realised after reading all these horror stories about children who were that bit too trusting with social media that she was right all along. Additionally, I remember watching many short clips in assemblies at high school recreating real events that would scare me so much that I almost never wanted to go on the internet ever again!
It’s a big scary place the internet and without the right education on how to safe, it’s easy to go wrong and end up in a mess no one wants to be in. This is why I considerate it really important to make sure children grow up feeling confident with internet safety so they won’t be scared but will also stay safe. We live in an expediential world and it’s very easy to be overwhelmed by it all, especially when teaching if you don’t have a grasp on what children get up to these days. However, simple things such as never revealing your address online may seem obvious but can be where many go wrong. I’ve read many a times about how a teenager has posted on Facebook (or any other social media site) that they are having a party so they put their home address on the post and before you know it 300 odd people turn up and the house is wrecked, leaving 1000s of pounds worth of damage.
The most worrying thing for parents when letting their children venture on to the internet is strangers. It’s no secret that there are many horrible people out there that will use their brains to lure children in by using fake accounts. Therefore, children who are uneducated in the way of internet safety wouldn’t even think twice about talking to someone the same age as them, who are interested in the same things and happens to go to the primary school not too far from them! Sounds too good to be true? It normally is. Unfortunately for the parents the child will often lie and if they end up meeting this internet friend, the parent will be unaware that their child’s safety is at a very high risk.
After this week’s ICT input I decided to check out ‘Fakebook’ a site where teachers can create a fake profile for a fictional/historical character. I found this really intriguing as it’s not something I’d ever heard of before but sounded quite useful. Being able to put information in a format most children are familiar with will help them keep engaged and might find learning that little bit more enjoyable (if possible!).
I put together my very own ‘Fakebook’ highlighting the risks of the internet and why it’s important to stay safe.