Internet Safety at the Clayton County Fairgrounds

June 7, 2022

Alpine Communications participated in the 2022 ISU Extension and Outreach Safety Day on May 12, 2022 at the Clayton County Fairgrounds.  Lori Keppler and Austin Behrend worked with fourth graders from MFL Mar Mac, Clayton Ridge, Central, and Postville schools to learn their knowledge about Internet safety and help them understand the dangers online.

In the first activity, students were asked to go to a corner of the building that best represented their answer to questions. This helped understand how students use the Internet and their thoughts on Internet safety.

Where do students spend most of their time online?

With the age of the students, it is not surprising gaming and YouTube were the most popular answers to where they spend most of their time online. These arenas may not be the first place you would think danger lurks. YouTube and gaming sites have areas that allow for chatting with other users. When students were asked if they had ever chatted with anyone they did not know online, 60% said they had. It is important students know who they are talking with and what information they should and should not be sharing with others.

What device do fourth graders spend the most time on?

Students spend most of their time using their cell phones to connect online. These devices are easily accessible outside of the watchful eyes of an adult which may be why 40% of students did not feel their parents had a good idea of what they do when they are online. That is especially concerning considering the amount of time students spend online outside of school per day.

How many hours do students spend online per day?

With 91% of students spending over an hour a day online outside of school, it is imperative parents keep a watchful eye on their activities and the who they are interacting with. Monitoring services, such as Tech Home, are available for mobile devices which give parents control as to what is taking place on mobile devices.

The information gathered gave insight for the final activity where students were given a screen name, instant message, and profile picture of someone reaching out to chat with them. At the end of the exercise, a photo was revealed to expose who they were really talking with. Students were surprised at the images. The person in the photo did not come close to representing the images students were imagining. This set a great stage for discussion about what to believe when you are communicating online.

There are a lot of other dangers everyone should be aware of including phishing emails, viruses, hackers, ransomware, etc. Tech Home is available for computers and mobile devices to help manage online activity, protect devices from viruses, manage passwords, backup data, and other tools.

Call Alpine Communications at 563-245-4000 to learn more about how Tech Home can help you stay in tune with your child’s online activity and keep your family safe from online dangers.

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