Behaving Responsibly on the Web

Safe and responsible Internet use is the cornerstone for using Web 2.0 in school. Perhaps the most important thing you can do on the web is to use your common sense. If you do not think about what you are doing, you could face terrible consequences, you could even get hurt: physically and/or emotionally. We define common sense as; not making any decisions that could have an outcome where the negatives outweigh the positives. For instance, putting your home address on the Internet does not really give you any benefit. Information that is personal to you or your family is not something you should post on the Internet, unless it is a secure site (but even then you can not always be too sure that someone can't hack into it). Another example is talking to strangers over AIM(AOL Instant Messenger) or any other instant messaging service. If you find somebody else in an educational setting, then collaboration with them would be acceptable. Talking to someone through Myspace or Facebook is only a smart way of collaboration if you personally know this person.

Despite being sensible and careful we should keep in mind we are always at risk of Internet predators, unwanted sexual solicitation, cyberbullies, and the theft of personal information. Internet safety is a focus of our Middle School technology program. Knowing how to be safe on the Internet means using common sense, and being aware of your surroundings on the Internet.

You can protect yourself on the Internet. For example, make sure you do not give out any personal information that one could link you too. It is important to know that with all the new technology, mostly anyone can find out anything about you. To try to prevent yourself from getting into this danger all you need to do is keep your personal information to yourself. Sometimes you should not even tell someone what your name is unless you know that you can trust who you are talking to. These are just examples of what you deal with on the Internet.

Another thing to deal with is the endless spam e-mails, the viruses, spyware, phishing, etc. These are Internet Security issues that can easily be managed with technology. One prime example are trojans, which are some of the most dangerous viruses currently known.

One key point to Internet safety whether at home or in the classroom, is information literacy. Information literacy is the ability to know how to locate, evaluate, and use Internet resources in a safe, responsible way. This includes knowing if your information resource is valid and reliable, and understanding copyright/fair use issues.

Plagiarism is another issue you must be aware of when using the internet. Plagiarism is when you take another person's words or ideas, use them as your own, and take credit for their work. This is a serious offense and can result is serious consequences.

Let's remember the Web is a wonderful place and an ever growing part of our lives. Being aware of the dangers helps us reduce our risk of getting hurt and helps us fight these "nightmares."

Finally, there is the school's AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) that each student has to follow. You agreed to the rules of the AUP when you signed the agenda book, and you are liable to face the consequences of your behavior should you violate the AUP.

Last updated Oct 8, 2009 7:18 am

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