Safety guidelines for internet useThe internet has become a a necessary tool in all of our everyday lives, making it easier to keep in touch with friends and family, as well as, completing school assignments. Access to the internet has never been easier or more convenient through mobile devices (smartphones, IPods, IPads, etc.) and free Wi-Fi at every turn. As these devices and services become greater and easier to use, so does the RESPONSIBILITY that is required in order to navigate the internet RESPECTFULLY. Many of these devices and the applications for them have become a distraction and addiction to our everyday lives, making it more difficult to "unplug" and spend quality time doing school work or spending time together with family. As our ability to access the internet continues to grow and become more efficient please consider the following guidelines when giving this responsibility to your child:1. PLEASE, EDUCATE YOURSELF about social media applications (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). All of them have age restrictions and are meant for children 13 years old or older. Some are strictly meant for adults. Learn how to properly use them, set privacy settings, and what they are about. Common Sense Media is a great resource and one stop website to help parents educate themselves about the pitfalls of applications and all other forms of digital media.2. PLEASE, EDUCATE and MONITOR your child's internet access. There are many ways to set restrictions on your home computer using free software, like K9 Web Protection. TALK with your child about what are acceptable applications to use and set rules for using them. Review your child's phone applications regularly to create open discussion about proper use. Remember, these are tools to help make our lives easier, and not devices to make other people feel bad.3. PLEASE, LEAD BY EXAMPLE! When your children see you unplug, they are more likely to follow your example. When they see and hear you using technology appropriately, they are more likely to do the same. Stop playing Candy Crush and encourage family time spent playing board games, talking about school, doing school work or reading together.The internet is filled with people that are out to take advantage of others in many ways, so please protect yourself and your family and become more aware of what you and your child are using to access social media on the internet.Please click on any of the following resources to help get you started and feel free to contact one of the school counselors if you have any concerns or suggestions.