Cyber Safety Tips
Staying Safe in a Digital World
Our online and mobile activities are just a normal part of life. But, the powerful technology that fills both our schools and homes comes with some potential dangers.
Having unlimited access to information and people may result in increased knowledge and great experiences. But it can also lead to inappropriate content and exposure to risks. We want students to make good decisions in the digital world to protect their safety, personal information and reputation.
What is the District Doing?
Internet filters within our district protect from inappropriate material online. Several policies are also in place to address online safety and security, as well as rules for technology use. Cyber safety instruction is integrated into classroom lessons, library activities, and counseling sessions.
Cyberbullying happens when a student is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child or teen using the internet, interactive and digital technologies, or mobile phones.
Cyberbullying can lead to low self-esteem, and victims may feel scared, frustrated, humiliated, angry or depressed. They may become isolated, withdrawn, nervous and even suicidal.
Examples of Cyberbullying
1. Sending someone mean or threatening emails, messages or texts
2. Tricking someone into revealing personal or embarrassing information and sending it to others
3. Breaking into someone's account to send cruel or untrue messages or make posts pretending to
be that person
4. Creating websites or pages to make fun of another person
OLSD Cyberbullying Policy
OLSD does not tolerate bullying in our district and that includes cyberbullying. If you believe you are being cyberbullied or know someone who is, please talk to your teacher, school counselor, principal or any district employee as soon as possible to get assistance and intervention.
A good digital citizen:
1. Uses technology to relate to others in positive, meaningful ways.
2. Thinks before posting and keeps their digital footprint in mind.
3. Respects privacy and freedom of speech.
4. Treats others courteously and considers their point of views.
5. Creates secure passwords that aren’t shared with others.
6. Protects private information.
7. Understands copyright and respects others’ intellectual property.
8. Protects their devices from viruses, malware, etc., and takes steps to prevent identity theft.
10. Uses privacy settings on social network pages.
Think Twice Before Using These Apps
Understanding the potential risks associated with these popular types of apps will help you use them wisely and safely.
- Temporary message/photo apps
Examples: Snapchat, Confide, Poof Texting and Burn Note
Some apps allow users to exchange temporary messages and pictures that are deleted or disappear after a certain amount of time. People often use them to send silly or embarrassing messages as a fun way to share without making posts public. However, people also use these types of apps to send inappropriate messages or nude and semi-nude photos. What they do not realize is that the person on the receiving end may take a photo or screenshot. There are even apps that help users recover these images or view them again. Remember that once you send a message or photo it’s out there and can never truly be deleted.
- Geo-location apps
Examples: YikYak, Whisper, Tinder and Swarm
Some apps allow you to send photos and texts to people near your location. Some dating apps let you find potential matches within a certain- mile radius of your location. Apps like these can lead to stalking or be used by sexual predators. So if you choose to use geolocation apps, make sure you are being safe. Broadcasting where you are isn't always the safest thing to do. Keep in mind that some apps reveal your location by default if you don't turn off this setting.
- Anonymous apps and sites
Examples: Ask.fm, Kik Messenger, Omegle and Whisper
Being anonymous online helps us express ourselves in ways we might not be able to in the real world. But, unfortunately anonymous apps and sites like Whisper and Ask.fm are often riddled with inappropriate content. They also can encourage bullying behavior. Users should be careful not to share personal information with complete strangers. Some anonymous apps and sites are used by sexual predators.
Many games are played online against other players, whether on a console, computer, mobile device or social networking site. Players often chat via microphone, headset or messaging.
Online gaming can be very competitive and sometimes leads to inappropriate language and harassment.
There can also be hidden risks in downloading and playing web and app-based games. Some apps claim to be free but disguise charges in upgrades for in-game features. And if you’re not downloading from reputable sources you could end up downloading a virus or being scammed.
Keep in mind that many app-based games include a social aspect as well. Some game apps will match you up to play against other users you may not know and allow you to chat with them. Other games will share your progress on your Facebook feed.
Additional resources can be found on the Parenting In The Digital Age page.