Whether surfing the internet from a home computer, school computer, or even these days on a mobile device, it is very likely that most high school and college students do not feel any sense of danger or risk. Considering a majority of these students have grown up using the internet for a significant portion of their lives without any experiencing any harm or foul their sense of invulnerability is not surprising.  The reality is that there are dangers and risks associated with internet use all around us, and our students vulnerability to them is only increasing as they continue to spend more time online both in and out of school. The following are some of the major internet safety concerns for students and some guidelines to help avoid them.

1.      Online Predators

Traditionally this online threat largely came via chat rooms. Now however, thanks to popular social networking sites such Facebook and MySpace this threat has spread through new avenues. Students tend to post personal information about themselves freely on these sites such as their full name, hometown, sex, and so forth. As a result students can unknowingly post enough information about themselves to become vulnerable to stalkers and even abduction or sex crimes. Unless students have met someone they choose to network themselves with online in real life, there is no way of knowing who that person on the other computer truly is. The following links offers insight into some of the ploys used by internet predators and tips for students to protect themselves.



2.      Identity Theft

The internet has created new ways for students to become victims of identity theft. The risk comes not only from social networking sites where students list personal information freely and openly, but has also increased due to the prevalence of online shopping and online forms or accounts. Since many online businesses or other websites store personal information for their shoppers and users, it means another avenue for identity thieves to access your information. The following link offers tips for student in preventing identity theft online.


3.      Scams

With the internet being such a great way to reach people, which means it is also a way for criminals to use it to try and rob them. These scams often come via email offering claims of free money or prizes. With many college students scraping by on savings, part time jobs, money from parents, or financial aid the prospect of free or easy money may seem quite alluring. The risk posed by internet scams is that students may find themselves taken for real money or perhaps have personal information taken in their pursuit to cash in on a prize that doesn’t really exist. The following links offer tips for avoiding internet scams.



4.      Viruses & Malware

One of the biggest risks comes from viruses and malware. These are malicious computer programs that can wreak havoc on a personal or school computer system and network. They can result in everything from computer crashes, stolen passwords, erased hard drives, to key logging, tracking internet use, or even taking over a computer entirely. This threat often stems from the propensity of students to download pictures, music, software, and other documents off of the internet. Every download from an unknown internet source can mean students potentially infecting their personal computer or even a school computer with a virus or malware. The following links offer tips on avoiding viruses and malware.



The following links offer additional resources for teachers and students to teach or learn about internet safety.





9/30/2013 07:45:23 pm

Unless students have met someone they choose to network themselves with online in real life, there is no way of knowing who that person on the other computer truly is.


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