Project Harmony (www.ProjectHarmony.com/training) is offering a free online safety training course for parents, caregivers, and educators throughout the month of January. Did your child receive a new technology device this holiday season? For some, this is the first time they have access to texting, downloading music, taking and receiving photos, instant messaging, social media apps, watching videos, and more. In addition, they have access to cyberbullying, meeting strangers, and talking to people who are not necessarily who they say they are. That’s a lot of access at the tip of our children’s fingers.
It is no surprise that the internet has changed the way our children interact with the world. According to Pew Research Center, teens are increasingly sharing information through social media.
- 91% post a photo of themselves
- 71% post their school name
- 71% post the town where they live
- 53% post their email address
- 20% post their cell phone number
Sharing this kind of information makes it easy for online perpetrators to seek out potential victims, gather personal information, and make contact.
If your child is subjected to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, or even sextortion, make sure they know they are not at fault. We have learned that if a child thinks they will be punished for receiving inappropriate content or cyberbullying – they will not tell a trusted adult. Talk to your child, collect evidence (emails, texts, screenshots of social media posts, etc), and contact the police if physical threats are involved.
To register for Project Harmony’s training or to learn more, please visit www.ProjectHarmony.com/training.