The following content is created in consultation with SafetyNet: Smart Cyber Choices®, an Internet safety program of the San Diego Police Foundation and the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. To learn more about how to keep your kids safe online, visit Smartcyberchoices.org.
Just a few years ago, smartphones, apps, and social media sites were not an everyday part of our kid’s lives. With the explosion of Internet enabled devices and social networking sites designed for kids and teens, parents and schools are having a difficult time keeping up.
One of the greatest challenges facing youth online today is cyberbullying. SafetyNet: Smart Cyber Choices® surveyed over 15,000 middle school students in San Diego to discover that 31 percent reported being bullied online while 34 percent admitted having said something mean to someone else online. Nationwide, we have seen a dramatic increase in suicides linked to cyberbullying and research indicates that kids who are cyberbullied or bullied have elevated risks of depression and thoughts of suicide. Educating our kids about what cyberbullying is and how to respond to it is more important than ever.
The San Diego Police Foundation’s
SafetyNet® program has made it their mission to educate kids and teenagers about the dangers of the web. In 2008, the SDPF collaborated with the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
and launched SafetyNet®
, a program designed to keep kids safe online. From tips on how to avoid cyberbullies to the dangers of committing reputational suicide (the result of sharing too much personal information online), the program walks impressionable youths through the dos and don'ts of online social networking and online safety and security. To date, 75,000 local students have taken part in the program's helpful, 45-60 minute school assemblies.
Today’s parents are the first generation of moms and dads parenting kids in a hyper-connected world. To help parents keep up with what their kids are doing online, SafetyNet® has a resource rich website and no-cost elearning Parent Guide
available on the web. Designed by ESET, the eLearning Guide gives parents comprehensive, step-by-step solutions to keeping their kids safe on the Internet.
Even though today’s kids and parents are faced with new challenges not seen by previous generations of families, help is available to help kids manage their online lives. The SafetyNet® program is educating San Diegans to make Smart Cyber Choices!
Published at 11:00 AM PDT on Oct 10, 2013