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Lower Merion School District


Internet Safety for Parents of Elementary Students


Tech It Out Newsletter:

Technology changes so rapidly that it can be difficult to keep up. Children often know more about technology than the adults around them. This newsletter is designed to provide you with current articles, resources, and other information to help you stay ahead of the game.   Make sure to click FOLLOW (at the top) and enter an email address   to get updates when there is new content.

Internet Safety Websites:

Common Sense Media: Parent Concerns

Common Sense Media is the nation's leading non-partisan organization dedicated to improving the media lives of kids and families. If you have a question or digital dilemma, you will find age-appropriate guidelines for your family, plus videos and articles to help with the tough conversations.

Making the Internet safer for children and families. is a Silicon Valley, Calif.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating users of connected technology about safety, privacy and security. Here you’ll find research-based safety tips, parents’ guidebooks, advice, news and commentary on all aspects of tech use and policy.

Cyberbullying Websites:

Cyberbullying Research Center

Identifying the causes and consequences of cyberbullying. Here you will find cyberbullying resources specifically for parents.

Stop Bullying Now

Information about bullying, strategies for helping to prevent and deal with bullying and helpful materials that you can use to help children in your family, school, and community.


The EBullying411 website comes from the Illinois Attorney General's office and contains a variety of resources for kids, teenagers, parents, and educators seeking information and advice about cyberbullying.


Videos for Younger Kids:


This resource is designed to introduce younger children to basic Internet safety concepts through interactions with animated characters; Clicky, a yellow robot, and the sister-and-brother team, Nettie and Webster. Children learn the importance of being safer on- and offline from the repetition of safety messaging in Clicky's songs. The ultimate goal of NetSmartzKids is to teach children to identify online dangers and practice safer behaviors.

Internet Safety 

This video teaches young children rules for being safe while online.

My Online Neighborhood

Young kids love exploring and discovering new things online. Get tips on how to keep their experiences safe and fun.

Videos for Older Kids:

Stand Up to Cyberbullying

Watch this video with your child to remind them that kids can stop cyberbullies by standing up for themselves or someone else.

The Protection Connection

This video teaches kids how to protect themselves online with privacy settings and good online practices.

Share with Care

The things kids post online can have an impact on people in the real world. Share this video with your child to remind them to think before they click.

Heads Up: Stop. Think. Click.

Before kids post online, download a game or program, or buy something, they should take a second to stop and think before they click.


Books for Adults:

Note: Many of these books can be found at your local library.

Raising a Digital Child: A Digital Citizenship Handbook for Parents

This book is an easy read and covers topics like understanding digital citizenship and bringing digital citizenship into the home. In addition, this book includes a quick Guide to popular technologies, a family contract for digital citizenship, and a quiz you can ask your children to find out what they know about technology use.


Screenwise      offers an encouraging perspective on how to thoughtfully guide kids 
in the digital age. Many parents and educators worry that kids are addicted, detached, or distracted because of their digital devices. Digital Citizenship expert Devorah Heitner, however, believes that technology offers huge potential to our children--if parents help them.

Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn

This book will help educators and parents teach to this new generation's radically different learning styles and needs. In addition, it will also help parents learn what to expect from their "techie" children concerning school, homework, and even socialization.

Books for Children:

The Mouse Who Went Surfing Alone

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has written The Mouse Who Went Surfing Alone, a cautionary tale for pre-K and first grade children about the dangers lurking on the internet. Sales of the book will benefit Mission Kids, the non-profit child advocacy group that District Attorney Ferman helped create.

Faux Paw's Adventures in the Internet: Keeping Children Safe Online

Created for the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, Faux Paw--an adventurous, six-toed, Web-surfing cat--is here to help teach your child how to be safe online. With a foreword by First Lady Laura Bush, this colorful book and animated movie will give kids wise advice and you a place to start talking to them.

Smart Kid's Guide Books:

For students in grades 3-6, these books tell readers how to protect themselves while having fun online. These books are captioned, include lots of color photos, and each book includes a list of safety tips in the back.

A Smart Kid's Guide to Internet Privacy

A Smart Kid's Guide to Social Networking Online

A Smart Kid's Guide to Online Bullying

A Smart Kid's Guide to Doing Internet Research

A Smart Kid's Guide to Avoiding Online Predators

Try With Your Kids

Online Activities To Do With Your Child:

Cyber-Five for ages  6-8

Cyber-Five is a short animation which introduces children to five helpful rules to be safer on the internet. Join Hippo and Hedgehog as they introduce and review the five rules. There is a multiple choice quiz at the end of the animation for assessment. The Cyber 5 story concept is by Jillian Palmieri of

Privacy Pirates: Online Privacy for ages 7-9

This game introduces children to the concept of online privacy and teaches them to distinguish between information that is appropriate to give out and information better kept private.

Privacy Playground: The First Adventure of the Three CyberPigs for ages 8-10

In this game, the CyberPigs play on their favorite website and encounter marketing ploys, spam and a close encounter with a not-too-friendly wolf. The purpose of the game is to teach kids how to spot online marketing strategies, protect their personal information, and avoid online predators.

NSTeens Interactive Comics for ages 10-13

There are two different interactive comics: Choices & Cheaters and Stand By or Stand Up? Each allows your child to make the decisions and see what happens.

Digital Passport by Common Sense Media for ages 11-15

This is an animated, choose-your-own adventure, interactive game, developed with middle schoolers in mind. Students step into the shoes of one of eight characters to experience the twists and turns of daily digital life. Topics include cyberbullying & digital drama, self-image & identity, Internet safety & privacy, creative credit & copyright, and relationships & communication.

Kids Safety Products

Apps for Families:


(iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Desktop)- Free (paid features available)
Life360 keeps millions of families and close friends connected, no matter what chaos life throws their way. Note: the app is free but there is Premium version available for a monthly subscription.

Family Tracker

(iPhone, iPad, Android, Desktop)- $3.99
Track your children so you know they are safe.


(iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android)- Free
Know where your children are, where they've been, and schedule alerts for location activity.

Family Locator

(iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)- Free
Keep your kids safe and let your entire family be in touch.

Smart Watches for Kids:

The hereO Family

(iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Desktop)
The coolest, smallest & most advanced GPS watch designed specifically for kids, and an app enabling the whole family to stay connected and safe. Note: the app is free, but you must purchase the GPS watch and a monthly subscription.

Verizon GizmoWatch™

(iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android)
The GizmoWatch is the fun and kid-friendly smartwatch designed with your child's safety in mind. Automated alerts and a GPS locator provide independence while still keeping you in the know. Get your child excited about exercise using the step tracker, set on-screen notifications and program up to 10 trusted contacts for 2-way voice calls and messaging. The GizmoWatch is durable, waterproof and easy to use.

Screen-free Phone  for Kids:


Put your mind at ease, gain comfort, and build trust. Relay combines the power of a phone with the functionality of a walkie talkie. Kids can check in with family, and talk with friends.


Stands for Web Log. A blog is an online journal which can be used for a variety of reasons. Blogs are easy to start and can be used for business and/or personal purposes. Blogs are intended for users to interact with Blogs that are made to the public. Blogs can be set for private use or as a read only where users cannot comment on them.

A program that allows users to view Web pages. Microsoft® Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome are examples of popular browsers.

Real-time communication over the Internet. You type and send messages that appear almost instantly on the computer monitors of the other people who are participating in the chat.

This is a place where you can go to "chat" live with others. You type questions or comments and others read them at that moment and can answer.

A cookie is a file from a site you are visiting that gets saved on your hard disk. It is only an ID tag and there is no danger to your hard disk. It also doesn't identify you personally unless you give the site your personal information. You might do this if you are shopping on a site and they keep your previous purchases, shipping and credit card information for your convenience. Cookies can also be used to customize the display you see through the browser or keep track of the different pages within the site that you visited. You can configure your browser to alert you when a cookie is being sent. You can refuse to accept cookies or erase all cookies saved on your browser.

Sending or posting harmful or cruel text or images using the Internet or other digital communication devices.

Refers to all the computer networks on the Internet. The term distinguishes the physical world from the virtual or computer-based world.

Terms that can refer to the online enticement of children; rude or threatening messages; slanderous information; or repeated, unwanted messages.

A domain is a web page address. It is what you enter into your browser to find a particular web site.

File-Sharing Programs:
Programs that allow many different users to access the same file at the same time. These programs are usually used to illegally download music and software.

Filtering Software:
Different methods to screen unwanted Internet content including whitelisting, blacklisting, monitoring activity, keyword recognition, or blocking-specific functions such as e-mail or instant messages.

This is a system that creates a special "wall" used by network servers to keep out unwanted information like spam and viruses and unwanted people like hackers.

Sending a deliberately confrontational message to others on the Internet.

Refers to Adobe Flash. This is a program that allows you to create animated content for your Web page. To be able to see Flash content you must have this program on your computer.

On the Internet, flaming is an insulting, angry or otherwise negative remark to or about someone in public. This can be on a message board or anywhere else others can view the remark.

A popular term for someone who accesses computer information either legally or illegally.

Instant Messaging (IM):
A service that allows people to send and get messages almost instantly. To send messages using IM you need to download an IM program and know the IM address of another person who uses the same IM program.

IP address:
stands for Internet Protocol address. It is the method by which data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet. Each computer on the Internet has at least one IP address that uniquely defines it from all others on the Internet.

Internet Service Provider (ISP):
A company that provides Internet access to customers. Some examples might include Comcast, Verizon, or AOL.

A system that allows users to send e-mail to one address where their message is then copied and sent to all of the other subscribers to the listserv.

Monitoring Software:
Software products that allow parents to monitor or track the websites or e-mail messages that a child visits or reads.

A digital music file. MP3s allow you to play music on your computer.

Courtesy, honesty, and polite behavior practiced on the Internet.

Netlingo is an Internet Language that was created by users to enable faster communication. A good analogy would be "the short-hand" on the web. Kids will use netlingo in chatting and text messaging. Here is an excellent site that lists up-to-date netlingo.

A network is created when computers are connected, allowing people to share information. The Internet is an example of a large network.

PDF (Portable Document File):
This document displays in its proper format no matter which operating system you use. You can read a PDF using Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is free software and you can download it at

An online scam that attacks the browser's address bar. Users type in what they think is a valid website address and are unknowingly redirected to an illegitimate site that steals their personal information.

An online scam that uses e-mail to "fish" for users' private information by imitating legitimate companies. People are lured into sharing user names, passwords, account information or credit card numbers. The phishing e-mail usually contains a link to an illegitimate site. Scammers copy the look of a website to set up a nearly identical page, one that appears to be part of that company's site.

Illegally copying copyrighted software, music, or movies.

An audio show that is broadcast over the Web. Users can listen to these shows on a digital music player or a computer. Podcasts can include talk shows, music, or other types of audio.

To leave a message on a newsgroup or bulletin board.

Privacy Policy:
The policy that a company or organization operating a website uses for handling the personal information collected about visitors to the site.

Search Engine:
A program that searches information on the World Wide Web by looking for specific keywords and returns a list of information found on that topic. "Ask Jeeves for Kids" ( and KidRex ( are examples of appropriate, kid-friendly search engines.

Social Networking Site:
A social networking site is a website specifically focused on the building and verifying of social networks for whatever purpose. Many social networking services are also blog hosting services. Facebook and MySpace are examples of popular social networking sites.

Unwanted e-mail from someone you don't know. It is usually trying to sell you something.

Mass mailings sent as instant messages to users.

Trusted Adult:
Someone who will help protect you and make you safer. Trusted adults can be people like family members, caregivers, family friends, teachers, counselors, coaches, clergy members, youth leaders, and law-enforcement officers.

This is an address of a website on the Internet. It usually starts with- http://www.

A computer program that can destroy files or make your computer "crash." Viruses can be sent via e-mail or through other file-sharing programs. Anti-virus software and not downloading information from people you don't know can help keep viruses from damaging your computer.

A form of filtering that only allows connections to a preapproved list of sites that are considered useful and appropriate for children.

a Wiki is a space on the Internet created by a user allowing others users (or open to the public) to interact on the webpage through collaboration and sharing of ideas. One popular wiki is an online encyclopedia open to the public to create, revise and edit.