Students are given Internet safety training that includes information on cyberbullying, online privacy, and other Internet safety concerns.
Additionally, the network activities of all devices connected to the Talawanda network are filtered, actively monitored, and logged by the Talawanda IT Department, as is required by federal law and Board policy. However, this capability is limited to the Talawanda network.
Parents are responsible for taking measures to ensure Internet safety at home, where Internet access is usually unrestricted unless actions are taken to limit access. There are two types of strategies to accomplish this: behavioral and technological.
Behavioral strategies involve controlling physical access to computers and the Internet, as well setting rules and guidelines for their use. Suggested behavioral strategies to enhance Internet safety at home include:
- Discuss the appropriate use and potential dangers of the Internet with children.
- Set clear expectations and consequences for misuse of the Internet.
- Limit the use of devices to shared areas like a living room or dining room while adults are present.
- Unplug your router when Internet access is not needed.
Some technological strategies to ensure Internet safety:
- Give children non-administrator accounts on your computers that prevent them for installing software or modifying system settings.
- Use a filtering service that works at the DNS level and requires no special home router capabilities.
- Install internet filtering software on your devices.
- Contact your Internet Service Provider to discuss network-level filtering services they may provide.
- Install an internet-filtering device at home or enable the special filtering capabilities of a home router.
Please keep in mind that a smartphone with a data plan can circumvent a protection you put into place by disconnecting from your wireless network, and devices that are taken elsewhere are no longer filtered.
There are always ways to bypass technological barriers to online content, and a sufficiently motivated child will break these safety measures. That's not to say that these approaches have no value, they do prevent children for accidentally stumbling across inappropriate content. But the most effective actions you can take as a parent are the behavioral approaches listed above.
There are many resources available to help educate parents with Internet safety concerns. Here is a list of just a few that are available: