Home > 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 3.4 Policies and Regulations > EDTECH 541: Online Safety for Teens

EDTECH 541: Online Safety for Teens

Internet Safety for High School students

Remember when you couldn’t go online without your mom or dad typing in the web address and watching over your shoulder?  Those days could return if internet rules aren’t followed.  Rules for the internet, like most rules, are in place to ensure that you are safe from harm while conducting your business online.  Teenagers are constantly bombarded with rules for conduct and behavior.  Keep in mind that the internet can be a stalking ground as well a place to meet friends and do homework.  “Internet safety isn’t about a bunch of rules telling you ‘never do this’, or trying to scare you into safe behavior.  Internet safety is about avoiding being ripped off, disrespected, bullied, scammed, or stalked while you’re just trying to have a good time online” (Lookbothways, 2008). Remember the following rules to keep you and your family safe:

  • Don’t provide information online that would allow a stranger to find you.  Remember, “predators may use this information to begin illegal or indecent relationships or to harm a person’s or family’s well-being” (kidshealth.org, 2012).  Is your safety and that of your family worth a few minutes of online conversation?
  • Protect your personal information.  Many online sites have listed in their terms and conditions a clause stating that they can use your material if you post it on their site; this includes sites like Facebook and MySpace.  Don’t post your personal photos, creative writing, and other proprietary information online if you want to maintain ownership of it.  Remember, “if [online sites] own your content and profile, and your information is ‘repurposed,’ there isn’t much you can do about it” ((Lookbothways, 2008).
  • Protect your reputation.  Your presence online reflects back upon you, and online material doesn’t go away!  Remember that “what’s funny today can embarrass you tomorrow [, and] anything you say or do can be copied, pasted, and sent to gazillions of people without your permission” (Perle, 2010).
  • Be nice.  Don’t do anything online that could be considered cyber bullying.  There is a person behind the computer; it’s not just a machine that you are speaking to in online chat rooms and social media sites.  Ross (2011) reminds us: “Yes, use your network connections to express yourself freely, explore strange new worlds, and boldly go where you’ve never gone before. But remember the Prime Directive of Netiquette: Those are real people out there.”

Using the internet safely and responsibly can open doors for you in your personal, educational, and professional life.  Just make sure that you protect yourself and others by being respectful of them and you!  Here’s a link to Netsmartz online resources for internet safety.  It includes real life stories of teens who were hurt online.  Be careful and have fun doing it!


Kidshealth.org. (2012). Online safety.  Retrieved from: http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/safebasics/internet_safety.html#cat20019

Lookbothways Inn. (2008). Retrieved from: http://www.atg.wa.gov/InternetSafety/Teens.aspx

Perle, L. (Jan 2010). Get cybersmart with Phineas and Ferb. Retrieved from: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/get-cybersmart-phineas-and-ferb

Ross, S. (2011). Netiquette.  Retrieved from: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/rule1.html

  1. Angela
    October 28, 2012 at 10:06 pm


    I think your guide is one that teens can identify with very easily. I liked that you used language that would be appropriate to that age-group and your ideas are concise, yet powerful. You made some excellent points about not only protecting private information, but also creative work as well, and I appreciated that.

    Also, I really liked that you highlighted that students need to protect their reputations. Sometimes kids post things they would NEVER say in person, so I appreciated that you pointed out the dangers of hiding behind an online persona and that the online presence kids create continues to reflect on them for years to come.

    You’ve done an excellent job of creating a meaningful guide for high school students and I really enjoyed reading your post.


  2. October 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I really liked that one of your rules for online use was to protect your reputation. Often times many students post negative, hurtful, or inappropriate comments using online messaging tools such as Facebook and Twitter. Many students hide behind their online persona and do not feel the negative consequences of such behavior because their actions took place online and not in person. Nice post.

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