Is your child ready to have a school-issued Chromebook? As a parent, are you feeling anxious or overwhelmed about your child having a school-issued Chromebook? I’m right there with you.
While our kids are excited to have their own Chromebook, there are many hesitations you should have before allowing your child full access to the internet. As an investigator, I am here to make you aware of some dangers of school-issued Chromebooks and give you a few tips to keep your children safe online. What are the dangers of school-issued Chromebooks? 1. Your kids have unlimited access to the internet. There is WiFi at school and at home. Your children can use their school-issued Chromebook to access inappropriate videos, images, chatrooms, Google searches, and so much more. 2. The webcam. Kids can be easily manipulated to send inappropriate images by using the webcam on their school-issued Chromebook. Webcams can also be hacked into through malware on the Chromebook. This means the hacker can see your child when the Chromebook is in use. 3. Google Hangouts. While your kids may primarily be using Google Classroom, they have access to Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts is a messaging platform where you can message, call, and video chat with anyone. This is another way a predator can attempt to communicate with your child online. Here are some tips for you to keep your child safe online: 1. Talk to your school. What kind of software do they have installed? Does it block any sites? Will it continue to block these sites on your at-home WiFi? Are they monitoring their usage on the internet? Know the access your child has to the internet. 2. Ask your school about the webcam. Are they disabling the webcam? If not, do they have specific settings for webcam usage? Is it only available for usage when on Zoom or Google Classroom? Take your own precautions for webcam access on certain apps. If you need help with this, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 3. Ask about access to Google Hangouts. Is this blocked or do your kids have access to it? If they are using it, see who they are talking with and monitor their conversations. 4. No Chromebooks in the bedroom or bathrooms. Make sure your child does not have privacy when using their school-issued Chromebooks. Having the Chromebook in a public room will eliminate the temptation for inappropriate behavior. 5. Cover up the webcam. Safe Surfin offers FREE webcam covers. Email Staci at email@example.com and we’ll send you a webcam cover to keep your kids safe online. While supplies last.
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The mission of the Safe Surfin’ Foundation is not only to protect youth from those who would do them harm, but pro-actively educating them in the safe and responsible use of today’s ever-changing technology. Together, we’re improving and saving lives. Help us continue educating kids online by donating today.