Teaching Internet safety – the need of the hour

The internet revolution has been successful in sweeping the teenagers off their feet. The onset of social networking added several laurels to the internet technology. Initially, it seemed to be a catalyst connecting people worldwide thereby coining the concept of the “World as a Global village.” The repercussions of this intriguing technology were unimaginable. Today, it is extremely common to see young children glued to internet for hours. At the same time, it is instrumental to teach them about the internet safety too.

It is extremely crucial to teach the ‘Stranger Danger’ to the students/ children. This is how one can equip them to handle situations that can occur as an outcome of internet usage. One needs to focus on teaching 3 vital considerations to the students. The first being, how to handle strangers in the real world and the virtual world with ease. Secondly, all the strangers are not bad. On the contrary not all the strangers are good too. Thirdly, in the virtual environment the danger resides within the house of the student. You can address this issue with the students with the help of a projector and a computer that has an internet access.

Image source: cliparts.co
Image source: cliparts.co
How can you address the Stranger Danger issue?

  1. The first thing to do is, raise a question in the classroom; “Who is a stranger?” Try collecting all the answers from the students. Ensure that the students understand a stranger is someone who is unknown to them. Tell the students that neither all the strangers are good nor bad. You can give some examples to illustrate your statements. The stranger can be from the real world or the virtual world.
  2. The next in the line is to pose a question about what details should never share with the strangers. Ensure that all the students understand that personal details like phone number, address, full name etc should never be shared.
  3. Now you can ask about what information we can share with strangers? It has to be seen that students answer most of the questions. Finally you can conclude saying that favorite colors, books, or TV series can be shared.
  4. You can also ask the students where all can they find strangers. I bet there will be a list of places. You can have a quick run through the answers to ensure that students have answered about the virtual world. If they have not, then you can introduce them to the term virtual strangers. You can then tell them about the dangers that one may have to face for associating with a virtual stranger. You can site a few illustrations to support your statements. For instance : kidnapping, cyber bullying, etc.

Image source : displays.tpet.co.uk
Image source : displays.tpet.co.uk
Videos/quiz about Stranger Danger concept:

You can show a few videos that depict the stranger danger concept to the students. A good mixture of real and virtual world examples can make the concept appealing. This can also be followed by a group discussion, a quiz or a sketching activity that speaks about strangers in the virtual world.  You can conclude these set of activities by discussing about the places where students can come across strangers virtually and tackling such scenarios wisely.

One has to take stringent measures to ensure that children are not put on the threshold of dangers from the virtual world and I think this is the need of the hour.