JE students in grades 5-8 learned about the importance of online safety and privacy during recent assemblies at the middle school.
Senior Outreach Manager for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Debra Ortiz-Pardi, spent time teaching students about topics such as being careful with what they share online, recognizing red flags of online exploitation, cyberbullying, identifying trusted adults, and reporting options.
“They’re online all the time; their digital life is kind of their life,” explained Ortiz-Pardi. “We know there is a lot they can access, and that other people can access them, so it’s important for them to know what resources are out there and to be better aware so they can make safer choices, and they can enjoy that time online without any issues.”
Ortiz-Pardi said the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recommends talking to your children about online safety whenever you start putting an electronic device in their hands.
“Conversations should be happening early and often, so that kids build up those skills as they get older,” added Ortiz-Pardi.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to online safety, the NCMEC offers plenty of online tools to help. NetSmartz is NCMEC’s online safety education program. It provides age-appropriate videos and activities to help children learn about internet safety and become more aware of potential online risks. NetSmartz aims to empower children to make safer choices on and offline, to prevent victimization.