Google teaches internet safety to NC students

Credit: ak - MCT

Social media guidelines urge pediatricians to encourage parents to be aware of Facebook depression, cyberbullying, sexting and other online risks.

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by RICHARD DEVAYNE / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @richardwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 28 at 8:00 PM

GRANITE FALLS, N.C. -- Hundreds of student packed the Granite Falls Middle School auditorium for a special program by Internet giant Google.

The school became the first in North Carolina to host Google's "Good to know" program which is geared at teaching young teens about Internet safety.

"This road school is about helping kids learn the skills and tools to be really smart and safe online," Jamie Hill, a Google spokesperson said after the session. "We actually know that 93-percent of teens are online, and this age is where they can really be helped to learn these practices."

Google uses two hosts who engaged students with lessons on how to better navigate the World Wide Web. They break the presentation down into five parts:

*Think before you share - Knowing that pictures and/or comments can follow you and harm you later.
 
*Protect your stuff - Understanding the importance of making your passwords hard to steal.
 
*Know and use settings - Privacy and locations settings which can prevent people from accessing your personal information or items you don't want others to see.
 
*Avoid Scams - Kids learned about such tricks as phishing and how phishing sites can mislead people into thinking they are legitimate.
 
*Be polite - Watching what you say and post on-line; steering clear of bullying and other forms of harmful activities online.
 
Google said that it plans to hire more staff and expand the program to other schools around the country.
 
"Getting that first cell phone, that first computer and they're starting to communicate more online so it’s a good time to make sure they know that there are great things happening online, but there's certain things they need to do to be responsible and to be smart online," said Hill.

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