Note to parents: A cell phone or PC for a child is a privilege, not a necessity. Necessities are love, food, oxygen, clothing, schooling and safety. Privileges should always come with rules and safety measures.
Monitoring your child’s online behavior is not helicoptering, it is parenting.
The following statistics were released by the Bureau of Youth Research at UNISA in 2017 concerning the nature, extent and impact of bullying among secondary school learners in Gauteng.
Learners who shared personal information with known friends online/offline
• Shared cell phone password (66.1%)
• Shared social network login details (33.9%)
• Shared email login details (16.8%)
Learners who shared personal information with unknown person met online
• Shared cell phone password (25.5%)
• Shared social network login details (20.7%)
• Shared email login details (8.1%)
58.7% of all learners shared personal information online and offline.
Guidelines to cyber safety
- It’s not a good idea to give your child a cell phone before they are 13 yrs old. That is the minimum age required to be on social media as well.
- Install Google Safe search on the device before you give it to them, to protect them from harmful content.
- Install a password that only you know on the device to block access to pornography.
- Tell them you will check their search history every month. If they delete their search history, you will confiscate the device. Kids only delete search histories when they have been on forbidden sites.
- Help them to choose a strong password
- See that your child set strong privacy settings
- Don’t let them use their real first name or middle name.
- Never let them post their location online.
- Teach them to never post they are home alone.
- Never let them post any contact information online.
- They may not add any person as a contact that they don’t know personally.
- They must ask your permission to download any app. They may only do so once you have approved the app.
- Teach them to report abusive posts or harassment immediately to you.
- Teach them not to post the following: the family’s full birth dates, their relationship status, current location, pictures of your kids with tagged names.
- Treat everyone with respect. Always be polite online as you are in person. Stop and think before you say or do or post something that could hurt someone.
- Stick to safer sites. Some sites have age restrictions. It’s safer to be honest and avoid those sites until you are older.
- Guard your passwords. Someone can sign in as you and you will never have control over what they do or say. Anyone will think it’s you. For that reason, do not share your password with anyone except your parents.
- Limit what you share with online friends. It is best to think first and type second when you are telling stuff about yourself online.
- Talk to an adult you trust if you are being bullied. They can make a plan to stop the bullying.
Neither respond to nor forward cyberbullying messages.
- Be friendly to a bullied fellow learner. Your kindness and friendship can make the bullied learners feel included and welcome, as they often feel left out and alone. Friendships can also help to prevent bullying because bullied learners are less likely to pick on learners when they are with friends.
- Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages or participate in the bullying incident by laughing at it. This behaviour can encourage bullying to continue.
- Get involved in the bullying prevention initiative at school.
- Keep evidence of cyberbullying (e.g. save and print screenshots, email and text messages). Use this evidence to report to web or cell phone service providers.
- Undertake bullying assessment in your school, develop and implement a whole school bullying prevention programme. This can include initiatives such as establishing coordinating task teams, learner advisory group, institute prevention rules, policies and guidelines related to bullying.
- Train staff in bullying prevention.
- Promote empathy, ethical decision making skills and respect among learners.
- Teach learners about ethical and legal standards for online activities.
- Intervene immediately to bullying behaviour. This may show learners that bullying is taken seriously.
- Model respectful behaviour when you intervene in bullying incidents.
- Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
- Involve the bullied learners to make amends or repairing the situation. This helps them to see how their actions affect others.
- Encourage learners to keep their passwords safe and not share them with friends.
The Internet can be an extremely useful tool for young people. But instant messaging, chat rooms, emails and social networking sites can also bring trouble – from cyber-bullying to more serious Internet dangers, including exposure to sexual predators. Cyber safety is trying to be safe on the internet and is the knowledge of maximizing the user’s personal safety and security risks to private information and property associated with using the internet, and the self-protection from computer crime in general.
What you need to know:
- If you post something online, it is published and becomes public content.
- Once it is posted, it is there to stay. The internet never forgets.
- Online anonymity is a lie – your IP (internet protocol) address can give you away.
- Your freedom of speech ends, the moment it violates another person’s human rights in any way.
How do they know it was me?
Every time your device connects to the internet, it associates 100% of your activity with your device. Every device has a unique identifier like a fingerprint. When you buy and register it, that transaction is linked to you ad everything you do ultimately points to you.
How to stay safe on social media
Password: Use a strong password. NEVER EVER share your password with anyone. Check the strength of your password on howsecureismypassword.net
Privacy settings: Set your settings so that only your contacts can see your information. Never set your settings to ”everyone”. Remember, every time that Facebook redesigns their platform, your settings might go back to the default settings. Check often that your settings are still private.
Check-in: Put your location on off. Although you want everyone to know you are on your 4th overseas trip of the year, it is best not to check-in anywhere – it gives predators or criminals information on where you are. They can use the information to break in to your home if you are not home, or home alone, or abduct you from the location of where you have checked in.
Timeline: Hard as it must be, don’t post every breath you take. Are you aware that universities and potential employers scan your ”digital CV”? If you sit with a glass of wine on every second post, your potential employer will be advised that you might have a drinking problem and they wont even interview you. Likewise a university might not accept you because your digital CV portrays a party animal if you have posted loads of partying pics on your timeline. Be aware of the image you portray of yourself online.
Sharing & liking: Be careful what you share and like. You might feel very strongly to share a post on politics or shaming a person. Once you shared it, you have no idea what a next person will comment. It might be a racist or defamatory comment. Legal action can be taken against everyone who shared or commented on a post. Also remember that more than 40% of all Facebook posts are fake. There are people out there who post fake information to stir people up. Always check where the information comes from. Google the information to double check whether it is true or false.
Tagging: Set your settings to approve all tags. You don’t want to be implicated in something if you weren’t even there.
Posts: Set your settings that only your friends/contacts can see your posts. You don’t want a pedophile three continents away to like your post on your last beach holiday.
Groups: Be aware of what is posted in groups. If you like a post – and someone comes later and makes a defamatory comments – you have to distance yourself from that comment by stating that you are dissatisfied with the comment. If you don’t it can be viewed that you agree fully with the comment – and you can be held legally responsible for what was said online. Rather leave a group immediately that violates another person’s basic human rights.
Playing games: If you play a game that was posted on Facebook or complete a quiz – it gives 3rd parties access to your information. This is how Facebook and their advertisers make money. They need you to click on their post. The more clicks, the more money they make. Their excuse is that they want to present you with more specific online content – for example, if you looked at clothing, you will notice more and more clothing adverts jumping up when you are surfing Facebook. If you don” want them to have information on your interests and likes, don’t click on adverts, quizzes or games.
Blocking: Know how to block and delete unwanted contacts.
Delete: Whats App now gives you the option for the first time to delete a post that you wrongfully posted – you can choose between ”delete for me” or ”delete for everyone”.
Are there apps that can pose dangers?
The Secret Calculator App looks like an innocent calculator app on your child’s I phone or Android device. Actually, this app is used to hide files, photos and videos.
What is the Secret Photo Calculator App ?
This app acts like a photo vault to store all password protected files, and can only be viewed inside the app.
As a parent who is unaware of this app you will never expect a simple calculator looking app is used to hide files. If you want to access this you will need the password to open the photos from your child.
You will not be able to view photos or videos in the default I phone or Android Gallery.
It is one of the most effective apps to hide photos and videos.
How does the Secret Photo Calculator app hide photos on an I phone or Android device?
- Open the Calculator+ app
- Once inside, it looks like a normal calculator. You can do subtraction, division and other mathematical functions with the app.
- To access the hidden files you will need enter the numeric codes and it ends with a percentage (%) sign?—?something your child might set up when they first install the app
- Your child might also use a fingerprint scan to unlock the files
- Once you entered the right password you can then view all the hidden files
- Calculator+ app can display numerous media types (such as .jpg, .gif, .bmp and .png files), videos (.mp4, .avi, .mkv, .wmv, .flv)
- To transfer the files from your gallery to the app you just need to open the Calculator App and a simple drag and drop feature will allow you to do this.
If your child upgrades to the premium feature they can store the photos in a cloud and get unlimited storage.
- Once your child transfer the photos from I phone Camera Roll to the Calculator app, the photo will disappear from the Camera Roll.
Other apps to hide photos
- Calculator+ is not the only app available to hide images. There are many apps in Play store or the Apple app store.
- Some of the popular one are KeepSafe, Calculator vault, Private Photos Video vault and many more
- To know if your child are having one of this apps you can login in to their app store and type in the word ‘Calculator’, ‘Secret’, or ‘Photo Hider’.
- If it shows ‘Open’ means your child has one of this apps. But if it prompts ‘Install’ it means that they do not have the app
Snap chat is a free video and photo sharing app that kids love.
- Although kids think that a snap disappears within seconds, any snap can be saved by a screenshot and shared.
- Snap Chat agreement grants Snap Chat access to your address book and contacts. If you agree, you have just shared private contact information on your family and friends without their permission.
- What you say on Snap Chat is in the public domain forever, even if the pic disappears within seconds.
Some programs that opens Snap Chat outside the app, allows recipients to permanently save messages without the sender knowing.
- If your location services is turned on (Snap Chat map), users can see what their friends are doing and locate where they are on a map anywhere in the world. You can zoom in to the very street address. Keep yourself in Ghost Mode.
It is a social site that allows people who find you interesting to ask you anonymous questions ”so they can know you better”. This is not an app your child should have on their phone.
- You are not as anonymous as you think you are. Remember any online presence is traceable.
- It is a pedophile haven
- No log in is required
- No ability to ban users.
- No way to find out who said what.
It is a live stream platform from where you can broadcast your life to the world as it happens. This is not an app your child should have on their phone.
- Kids take videos of every aspect of their mundane lives and broadcast it.
- The site is full of pedophiles that hunt children.
It is the world’s largest creative platform. It makes it super easy for people to create awesome videos an share it. It is a Chinese platform. You can report inappropriate content and block people on Musical.ly
- It is not clear what the age restriction is.
- All Musical.ly accounts are public.
- It contains crude humor.
- It can contain sexual content and nudity.
- It can also contain suggestive themes, fantasy or violence.
- Nasty comments or bullying can occur on posts.
- Lyrics of songs can be of above 18+ rating.
- Predators can watch videos that you post.
- You have to set your settings to turn on ”Hide location” and ”Private account”
Instagram is a mobile, desktop, and Internet-based photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately.
- If your account is not set private, freaky people all over the planet can see every pic that you post.
- Geo-tagging can reveal your location.
- All your shared photos can also count as “too much information”
- It is a platform that is ripe for gossip and harassment. You can get bullied on what you posted.
- The more likes a picture gets, the more popular and validated a person feels.
- This of course has its dark sides, as no likes or negative comments can lower a person’s self-esteem
If you have more questions, you are welcome to chat to us on our LIVE CHAT.
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