Cyber safety programs are usually included in a school’s annual event. It introduces basic internet safety tips, techniques and information, shared by law enforcement officers, teachers, kids, parents and industry experts. If your child’s school does not provide seminars for cyber safety, or outreach programs available are held far from where you live, you and your child don’t need to go far. Plenty of online cyber safety resources are available for you. Here are some of the most useful websites:
1) OnGuardOnline.gov (http://www.onguardonline.gov) is run by the Federal Trade Commission with the help of other U.S. government departments, such as the Internet Education Foundation (which created all Flash tutorials for the site). The website provides useful information about internet fraud, protecting personal information, and securing computers.
2) CyberSmart.gov.au (http://www.cybersmart.gov.au) is created by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. It is part of the Australian government’s cyber safety program and includes games, quizzes, information and other activities to help kids and families enjoy the online world safely.
3) NetSmartz Workshop (http://www.netsmartz.org) is an interactive program made by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to teach kids ages 5 to 17 on how to be safer online and offline. It features videos, activity cards, games, presentations and other age-appropriate information, keeping kids entertained while learning Internet risks, offline risks and dangers of exploitation.
4) GetNetWise (http://www.getnetwise.org), run by online expert Lawrence Magid, is a public service website sponsored by internet companies and public interest organizations like The Children’s Partnership, The American Library Association, WiredPatrol, Enough is Enough, The Children’s Partnership, and the Commercial Internet eXchange. It provides user-friendly educational resources about keeping safe online, while entertaining both kids and parents.
5) Safekids.com (http://www.safekids.com) is also developed by technology journalist Dr. Lawrence Magid, who wrote the 1994 brochure “Child Safety of the Information Highway.” It provides basic information about Internet safety.
6) Common Sense Media (http://www.commonsensemedia.org) is a review website dedicated to providing kids with trustworthy information about age-appropriate music, games, apps, websites, music, books and TV programs. It also offers an extensive library with tips on how to use various media and technologies while keeping kids safe.
7) StaySafeOnline.org (http://www.staysafeonline.org) is run by the National Cyber Security Alliance. It provides resources, videos and tools to schools, businesses, home users and parents to keep them safe online.
8) Connect Safely (http://www.connectSafely.org) is a project of the non-profit Tech Parenting Group. It is an interactive resource for teens, teachers and parents that feature tips, news, videos and other information focused on keeping kids safe on the social web and mobile. Connect Safely also has a forum.
9) iKeepSafe (http://www.iKeepSafe.org) is an educational resource website that teaches children of all ages the basic internet safety and net ethics through games, books, videos and other age-appropriate methods of engaging kids while learning.
10) The NetSmartz Workshop (http://www.NetSmartz.org) is an educational resource run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It tackles issues such as cyberbullying, internet predators, revealing too much online, dangers of social networking, safe cell phone and blogging rules, gaming and other topics. It provides information appropriate for kids, teens, parents, educators and law enforcement officers.
11) Cyberbully411 (http://www.cyberbully411.org) is developed by Internet Solutions for Kids to provide the youth with useful and trustworthy information about online harassment. It features real-life stories of kids with cyber bullying experience and provides an online support forum for those who are experiencing this kind of harassment.
12) WiredSafety.org (http://www.wiredSafety.org) is an internet safety resource and help group developed by volunteers who rate websites based on kids’ safety. It provides assistance for cybercrime victims as well as education for parents, law enforcement, children and teachers.
13) Cyber Tree House (http://www.cybertreehouse.com) is developed by the Business Software Alliance. Cyber Tree House is a flash animation website that features videos and games for kids that focus on teaching them keep safe online.
14) ChatDanger.com (http://www.chatdanger.com) was created to inform kids and teens about the potential dangers of meeting malicious people over instant messengers, chat rooms, e-mails, mobile phones and online games. It features games, educational resources and real-life stories of kids that have dealt with internet predators.
15) CyberSmart.org (http://www.cybersmart.org) is an extensive resource website for educators who wish to teach kids in the classroom about being “cyber smart.” It has an online workshop and features the free K-12 CyberSmart! Digital Literacy and Citizenship curriculum (http://cybersmartcurriculum.org).
16) Hector’s World (http://www.hectorsworld.com/island/index.html) is an interactive, web-based animated game developed by NetSafe New Zealand. The game encourages elementary students to learn digital citizenship skills. Each level or episodes have an accompanying storybook and lesson plan.
17) Professor Garfield Foundation: Internet Safety & You (http://www.infinitelearninglab.org) is an animated comics featuring the ever-popular Garfield that teaches kids about digital and media literacy, online safety, and cyber bulling. The website also features animated lessons and provides downloadable teacher lesson plans.
18) Stop Bullying Now! (http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/kids) is developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides information about cyber bullying. Games and flash movies are also available on the website.
19) Enough is Enough (http://www.enough.org) is a website dedicated to parents and guardians of children who are worried about their kids’ exposure to internet predators and pornography online.
20) Childnet International (http://www.childnet.com) is a UK-based, non-profit organization that helps people make the Internet “a great and safe place for children.” It provides local teachers copies of award-winning CD/DVDs and online resources for both teachers and parents.