A comprehensive guide to safe internet practices for teachers

As technology advances, so do the associated risks. Therefore, the Romanian Safer Internet Centre suggests browsing the Safer Internet Use Guide developed within their project. It covers a wide range of topics, from preventing cyberbullying and internet risks to aspects related to well-being in the virtual environment. It provides clear information, school activity plans, and discussion topics for parent meetings, helping to solidify the content.  

Date 2024-05-09 Author Romanian Safer Internet Centre Section awareness Topic media literacy/education Audience children and young people, teachers, educators and professionals
young children in front of a laptop and woman

In today's digital age, the internet is an integral part of our daily lives, influencing how we communicate, learn, and socialize. However, there is a concerning gap between adults, including parents and teachers, and their children when it comes to online risks. Often, adults do not face the same level of vulnerability as teenagers, primarily due to differences in awareness of digital dangers. Adults may navigate the online world cautiously, but children and adolescents, in their curiosity and innocence, are more likely to encounter potential risks such as cyberbullying, identity theft, or exposure to harmful and inappropriate content.  

This gap in exposure to online risks underscores the necessity for adults to initiate conversations with their children about online safety, listening actively and empathetically. There are situations where these disparities can have significant and lasting impacts, with children who fall victim to online risks experiencing emotional stress, low self-esteem, and even long-term psychological trauma. Furthermore, their academic performance and social relationships can be negatively affected, leading to a decline in overall well-being, both offline and online. Often, online experiences can shape an adolescent's perception of the world, influencing their attitudes and behaviour. The potential for online abuse is significant in the digital landscape, manifesting in various forms such as manipulation, harassment, or exploitation.  

Moreover, from interactions with parents in the Net Hour program, it is observed that parental concerns have heightened, with worries that their children might come into contact with adults attempting to exploit them online and the possibility of becoming victims of hate-inducing messages or sexting (receiving or sending explicit sexual content – photos, text, video). Compared to the situation before the state of emergency, children now spend significantly more time on the internet or using digital devices, affecting healthy sleep and eating routines. Additionally, unpleasant situations experienced by children online have intensified, making them feel uncomfortable and guilty for encountering emotionally harmful content.  

You can access the comprehensive practice guide on our website. 

Find more information about the work of the Romanian Safer Internet Centre, including their awareness raising, helpline, hotline, and youth participation services, or find similar information for other Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.   

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