Firewall!

Now that your child is online more and more, it is important that they know how to stay safe in the land of the World Wide Web. This activity will teach you and your child important tips on how to stay safe online.

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While Playing: 
  • Studies have shown that when you play with your child, you help make connections that will help your child achieve academic success later on in life. That being said, take turns playing this game with your child. It's fun!
  • While playing comment on the subject matter. For example, if a question regarding cyberbullying pops up, ask your child if he/she has ever been cyberbullied, or if they know someone who has. 
  • Engage your child in conversation about Internet safety issues. This way you will have an opportunity to find out what he/she does know about being safe on the Internet, and what he/she has yet to learn.
  • You yourself may need a brush-up course on the realities of online safety. Play this game too, you may learn something that you didn't know before! 
Ontario Curriculum Connections: 

Ontario children are accessing the Internet more and more. Curricular expectations in the Media Literacy area have been added to the Ontario Language curriculum document, which recommend that children utilize computers and the Internet for various purposes, as does the Ontario Science and Technology curriculum document. Using the computer respectfully and safely is important for all children. This activity will guide children towards doing just that.  This game meets many expectations in multiple grades, one of which is:

 

Language: Media Literacy

Reflect on and identify their strengths as media interpreters and creators, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in understanding and creating media texts.

At-Home Activities: 

Opening up the lines of communication regarding the importance of being safe online is a great thing to do while your children are young. This will help keep the lines of communication open for when they are older and visiting websites that may be less secure. 

Here are some tips for you to help insure that your child will be safe online:

  • Make sure the computer is located in a central area of your home, such as the family room or home office.
  • Engage your child in conversation about online safety, including privacy issues (not giving out personal information online), cyberbullying (saying mean things about people online, or threatening people online in chat rooms, or postings), and teaching your child that some people in a chat room may not be who they really say they are (these people are known as online predators who lurk in chat rooms visited by tweens and teens trying to get these innocent children to meet them in the real world).
  • Make some time to sit with your child while he/she goes through the sites that he/she most often visits. This will give you an idea as to what habits your child has online. For example, do they visit chat rooms? Do they enter contests and give out personal information without consulting you?