Internet Safety at Home

Inver Grove Heights Schools use filtering and other resources to keep students’ Internet use educational and safe. We realize that parents may not have all the resources the district has. There are lots of educational and entertaining uses for the Internet, but there are also dangers.

Here are some tips for safe Internet use at home:
  • In your home, place the computer in a visible location to monitor your family’s Internet activity and appropriate uses.
  • Remind your children that people they meet on the Internet are strangers. Just as they should not give out their name, address, telephone number, name and location of their school or any other personal information to a stranger in real life, they should not give out any personal information to people they meet on the Internet.
  • Talk with your children about what they see and do while they are on the Internet. Encourage your children to talk to you right away about anything on the Internet that makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Constantly remind your children they should never arrange to meet anyone they have met online. Because the Internet is so anonymous, people often pretend to be someone they’re not.
  • Remind students never to send a message they wouldn’t want the whole world, including their parents, teachers and all their classmates, to see; even if they know who is receiving the message they send, they need to remember that it can be forwarded to anyone else or posted online.
  • Tell them not to respond to any messages that are inappropriate or make them feel uncomfortable.
  • If you allow your children to create a social networking site, such as on MySpace, there are some things you can do to minimize the risks. Social networking sites are sites at which users post profiles, collect profiles of their friends, participate in forums, hang out or take part in blogs (web logs). Remind your children that:
  • When creating a profile, make it private so only those they invite can see it. Otherwise, their personal information is public and could put them at risk from those who wish to take advantage of such information.
  • Screen names and nicknames should not give any indication of the child’s identity, gender, age or location.
  • They should think twice before posting, as once a message or picture is posted, it can be saved, sent or posted anywhere, even if they delete it.
  • People have been denied entry into schools and not hired for jobs because of information or pictures found on their personal websites or blogs. Once posted, kids cannot “take back” the online images and text they’ve posted. Many websites are cached by search engines. Things that have been posted can be retrieved long after the site has been deleted.
  • While not a substitute for parental supervision and involvement, filtering and monitoring software can be used to provide additional safety measures.
  • As with all media, set limits on the use of the Internet. Be clear about your expectations. Let your children know that the guidelines you have set up will enable them to enjoy the wonderful resources of the Internet safely.

Additional Resources