Social Media Safety Alert on behalf of Nevada County Schools

March 1, 2019 – Several school administrators and Charter Directors in Nevada County are fielding questions from parents and students about an alarming trend that promotes self-harm and other dangerous activities to our young and impressionable students. The Momo Challenge, children’s videos and games, and the Tellonym application are buzz words heard on campuses this week. Regardless of whether the inappropriate and disturbing activities are vetted, the fear level has escalated among our community and throughout the state. In an effort to provide accurate information on this concerning trend, the following Social Media Safety Tips, provided by the Los Angeles Sheriff Department, can be shared with your staff and families to be pro-active in de-escalating fear and concern.

Online Safety Tips for Parents and their Children on Recent Social Media Trends

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We all know, the development of the internet has brought forth both positive and negative effects on our society. There are many positive things the internet can do for us; connect us with family and friends, help us manage our lives, and help us learn about the world we live in. However, some of the negative effects can become a great concern to parents, educators, and more importantly, our children. This includes people that use the connectivity of the internet to promote harm to others.

For parents today, it seems the internet has endless ways of trying to persuade our children to harm themselves. Many Parents believe that spreading awareness about the latest dangerous craze will help kids stay safe, but in reality a sound approach including education, safety talks, and open lines of communication with our children is the best route. The best way to protect our children is by being involved and teaching our children about online safety on a daily basis.

Below are some internet and social networking tips for parents to use:

• Be Involved! Talk to your kids and monitor what they are watching on the internet or social media.
• Develop a strong relationship with your children and communicate with them.
• Talk to your children about online predators and what to do if they are contacted by one.
• Talk to your children about morals and ethics. In today’s age, one’s online reputation can follow them for the rest of their lives.
• Have access to, and inspect your child’s phone, tablets or computers on a regular basis.
• Have access to your children’s social media passwords.
• Ensure your child’s social media privacy settings are set to the appropriate levels.
• If you child’s has a certain social media account, you should also have an account.
• Limit the information your children post online, birth dates, home addresses, and phone numbers. These can lure predators and identity thieves.
• Make sure your children know it is not safe to share passwords and accounts with others outside of the family with others outside of the family.

For more information about what you can do to help protect your children online, please visit:

Safe Online Surfing – Federal Bureau of Investigation

The goal of FBI-SOS is to promote cyber citizenship and help students learn about online safety while engaging in fun, interactive games. The program was designed to address current Internet safety threats while keeping each grade level’s online usage and knowledge in mind. We hope that you find the program beneficial and that your students use the information to make themselves safer digital citizens. https://sos.fbi.gov/

National Cyber Security Alliance

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) builds strong public/private partnerships to create and implement broad-reaching education and awareness efforts to empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cybersecurity. https://staysafeonline.org/

Stop Cyberbullying

Teach kids how to identify bullying and how to stand up to it safely. Be aware of what your kids are doing online
https://www.stopbullying.gov/

United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team
https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips

D.A.R.E
Teaching Students Decision Making for a Safe and Healthy Living
https://www.dare.org

Kid Power

Kid power prepares people of all ages, abilities, and walks of life with training, resources, and skills to prevent and stop bullying, abuse, kidnapping, prejudice, and sexual assault.
http://www.kidpower.org

You can always call 911 in the event of an emergency. If you wish to report a non-emergent crime involving the internet please call your local station or law enforcement agency. Thank you for your efforts to keep the students of Nevada County safe.