Tuesday was International Safer Internet Day, an annual event calling attention to the need for more safety-conscious online behavior every day of the year.
The Rochester City School District marked the day with various workshops and discussions aimed at educating students on topics like online and social media safety, and cyber bullying.
“So, not giving out their full name, not giving out their street address, and also things like if they see something or if someone asks them for private information, then they should contact a trusted adult,” said Timothy Johnsen, RCSD’s associate director of instructional technology, about some topics on the day’s agenda.
RCSD partnered with the local chapter of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and used examples from the organization’s interactive NetSmartz workshop to teach the children.
“Students engaged in conversations about what they should and shouldn’t be sharing on the Internet, and heard real world stories about kids whose lives were impacted significantly by things they shared and did on the Internet,” Johnsen said.
About 1 in 3 children reported being victims of cyberbullying, according to recent data from the Cyberbullying Research Center.
The threat spans across the range of technology and activities favored by young people, with about 40 percent of cases involving instant messenger services; 30 percent taking place on social networking sites; and 20 percent occurring while playing online games.
Johnsen said the School District receives alerts when there has been inappropriate behavior on school computers. However the online activity that takes place when students leave school property, he said, is cause for concern.
RCSD invites parents to visit their website for resources they can use to help their children remain safe while surfing the web at home.