InternetSafetySeniorsIt’s the last day of Internet Safety Month. On the first day I asked, what was your priority?

Of course, just because June is over doesn’t mean we stop thinking about online safety.  This is a topic that should be in our daily conversations.  It should be as common as how a was your day?  Any new apps today?  Cool videos you want to share with me?  Many something funny you saw online?  Oh – and let me share one with you!  Yes – parents can share too – and open that dialogue to help your teen know you are interested and interesting!

So, what did I learn?  I am always learning from so many great experts, advocates and great people I respect.

It opened with Intel Security’s research they released in June,  The Realities of Cyber Parenting: What Pre-teens and Teens Are Up To Online.

What it revealed was parents need to get cyber-smart! Why?

  • 79% of the youth surveyed said they learn online safety from their parents.

The study also uncovered that:

  • 35% of them said they’ve been a cyberbully.
  • 27% of them said they have met, or would meet, a person in real life who they initially met online.
  • 29% know each others passwords. (Which is 29% too many)

These are all disturbing statistics that require more conversations between parents and kids.  What experts are also discovering, it’s not about about the conversation as much as it is about role playing.  Give your child an actual example of what could happen or how it can feel.  Remember parents, this doesn’t happen in one conversation – this topic is ongoing.  Common Sense Media and Family Dinner Project has some great conversation starters for you.

So what have you learned this month?  It’s time you get more involved in digital citizenship and online safety.

It brings me to the next learning session of Internet Safety Month.  The educational Tweet Chat that was presented by Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and Intel Security Family about CyberParenting.

It was a high-speed, informative Twitter feed of tremendous tips, resources, and outstanding conversation about Internet Safety, digital wisdom and all-around kindness online.

We hear so much about the dark-web, cruel trolls, cyberbullies – and just mean people – but in reality, there are many people out there like these teams of advocates and experts that are fighting to keep cyberspace a safer place for everyone – not only our youth.

I wrapped up my Internet Safety Month by getting to know an organization better that is making a difference in thousands of schools across the country.  They have been on my radar – and I have, unfortunately, never had the time to speak with them, until this month.

Gaggle has been around for over a decade, but what I was so impressed with was their Safety Management System.

They have recorded over 10 million items from students that were in potentially risky situations.

If you haven’t visited Gaggle or your school doesn’t implement Gaggle, you may want to get to know them better too soon!

Take a moment to listen to these real students – real stories from Gaggle. It’s a great way to better understand Internet Safety matters – all year round.