Celebrate ‘Safer Internet Day’

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal)  Together we can build a better web. A web that both vibrant and safe. Are you part of the change?  David Ryan Polgar is the head of Trust & Safety for social messaging platform Friendbase, and a frequent speaker about online safety, digital citizenship, and cyber ethics has three tips.


Tips for a Better Internet

  1. Think of yourself as a citizen

Being online is typically a solitary activity, but you are actually in constant interaction with an online community. Instead of thinking of yourself as a user of social media, think of yourself as a citizen. Citizens care about their neighbors, get involved in creating a vibrant environment, and help keep the peace. Social media companies have evolved to include many self-reporting tools for abuse and misuse, and it is your role as a citizen to assist in maintaining civility. You have an important function is setting the tone and shaping the web.

  1. Get involved in your child’s online world

Kids don’t make a distinction between the online and offline world. The classic question of, “How was your day at school?” needs to expand beyond what physically happened. Although you as a parent might not be savvy in the platform your child is using, you can offer guidance in the social and behavioral skills. This also allows for opportunities where the parent/child dynamic is flipped, and kids and teens can be empowered to teacher their parent.

  1. Find out what your school is doing

There is a major movement across the country to enhance digital citizenship and online safety education. Do you know what your school’s involvement is in helping cultivate digital citizens? Given that social media’s 24/7 presence has blurred the line between home and school, there is a strong motivation to be actively engaged in how your school deals with issues regarding online safety. Find out more about your school’s policies and general usage in the classroom, and stay involved with presentations they may be holding around social media issues. Educators have taken a lead on building a better web and can be a valuable resource.