I created this infographic based on my reading of the article The Myth of Online Predators. In the article, privacy specialist David Finkelhor makes the point that when you actually look at the statistics for crimes against children online they are in line with crimes against children offline. While that is not something that is acceptable. It does make me think back to my post last week. The shock factor strikes again.
This is one of the parts about privacy that I have always struggled with teaching students. I have for years used the CEOP Think U Know website to help with teaching children safe online. The video I like using the best is the 8-10-year-old Jigsaw (see below). What I like is that the video is just scary enough to make them think but not so scary that they are troubled by it. But every time I did teach this lesson there were students who struggled with the seriousness of this lesson. I think that while we have to teach children to be safe we also need to reassure them that we are working hard to keep them that way and that this is not an everyday occurrence. This is a hard balance to have. I think it is probably similar to teaching kids stranger danger.
What is super important to teach students in our schools is that their information is in their control. They need to be very aware of what to control and what let out. That being said that isn’t even a clear black and white line. I often do a lesson about private vs public information with students when I put up a Venn diagram on the board and ask them what they think should go where. There are only a few things that are always on the private side. The rest get fuzzy when you talk about context. So, for example, addresses always come up. I ask them where it should go and they usually answer with private. Then I say “What about if you’re ordering from Dominos? I don’t know about you but I want my pizza to arrive at my house, not my neighbors!” Then they all go, oh yeah. So we take the opportunity to talk about if you do need to give an address. They usually decide that you should ask your parents if that is a safe site to give your address. I think it is super important to give students lots of scenarios that question their understandings. This allows them to think through their reasoning and if a situation were to arise that had not been discussed they will be better equipped to think it through.
This leads to another article I read titled Job Hunting Take a Closer Look at Your Facebook Page this article talks about the importance of considering things you post on social media. Facebook seems to be the default but really all social media is the same. Employers, Universities, and even potential friends are now spending time looking through social media to find out information about the people that they come in contact with. If you are a teacher who is posting nothing but pictures of yourself out drinking on weeknights, or a student who makes comments about how little effort you are putting into your school work, there may be someone out there who is reading that and making life altering decisions about you. Just think back to the Northwestern University LaCross White House Visit. The social media ramifications of that team could have lead to losses of scholarships. That could have been devastating for those students.
Students will always come back with, but it’s my private life and how I live it, is my business. And the answer to that is that as long as you keep it off of social media you are absolutely right, but once you put it on social media it is no longer private. It might be well hidden but it is never 100% private. So teaching students what is acceptable and safe goes from protecting their dates of births to protecting their and their friend’s images to future universities and employers. If we start teaching them these things when they are young they will develop habits that they will hopefully keep through the teen years when they are less likely to listen to what the adults say!
Websites where images for Infographic were taken from: