Raising cyber citizens


There are new dangers on the internet every single day, some of which your children may be bringing on themselves.

But, it’s something that officials said can be avoided if they learn from an early age to be a good ‘Cyber Citizen.’

“We grew up being told that when you go out into the world as a citizen that you need to look both ways before you cross the street. All of those tips that you get as you grow up but I’m think are we missing that now on training our kids to be digital citizens?,” said John Thomas, managing director for technology support in the Texas Tech IT division

That is a life lesson that Thomas said your children need to learn sooner rather than later.

“We find now that cyber criminals are targeting kids and not only to get to the parents but to exploit the children,” said Thomas.

It’s never too late to start teaching and training. Before parents can help their children, experts say they need to first learn what it takes to keep them safe.

“The first thing is to educate yourself, to be aware of the resources available to you and to be aware of what your students are exposed and what your children will be using and what they’re going to be exposed to as much as you can,” said Jacque Fewin, the director of technology at Lubbock-Cooper ISD.

This important lesson prompted Texas Tech to create their website dedicated to cyber security.

It’s also why Lubbock Cooper ISD teaches both teachers and parents about simple safety on the internet.

The second step is making sure your child and student doesn’t overshare when they’re on the internet on various apps.

“They could have a screen name that wouldn’t identify their first and last name together that could be identifiable and causing a safety issue….not sharing your location, not sharing your birthday, not sharing your address and just not sharing information that would cause a safety risk,” said Fewin.

Third, Thomas also said it’s important to teach them that the internet is forever, and if something is posted, it can never truly be taken down.

“Just being aware of what they’re looking at and having filters on computers if required,” said Thomas.

There are multiple ways to do that. Fewin mentioned you may be able to get help from your current provider.

“Protecting using your internet service provider, your search engine, setting up those settings preferences, parental controls,” said Fewin.

Lastly, experts said it’s important for parents to sit down with their children and outline what is and isn’t allowed. Having that discussion will break down any confusion and will also help uphold your family’s standards.

To learn more about TTU K-12, visit their website.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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