Links to Safety – Parent Resources for Online Safety
Links to Safety (LTS) is a two-hour class dedicated to teaching parents and caregivers how to keep youth safer online. The class is split into two topics: how to talk with children and youth about online safety and how to safeguard the technology used by youth to access the internet (cell phones, routers, apps, etc.). To schedule a training for your organization, call the Child Advocacy Program at 716-338-9844.
Disclaimer: The websites listed here contain information that CAP staff have found helpful. THIS LIST DOES NOT REPRESENT AN ENDORSEMENT OF ANY PRODUCT OR SERVICE BY CAP! Parents should research any product or service before purchasing.
Helpful Websites for Parents
Has downloadable, ready-to-use content for technology safety presentations, along with scripts and videos for audience engagement or sharing. New Into The Cloud program for younger audiences!
Cat Video introduces the topic of sextortion in a more approachable manner that is appropriate for many different audiences
Also has a text line if someone needs help, among other resources and information
- Google – Be Internet Awesome:
Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence. Includes pledges, curriculum, and the interactive Interland online game!
- eSafety Commission – Australia
Another great option for regular safety e-newsletter, information, and a great resource
- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children – CyberTipline
NCMEC and the CyberTipline can provide research and are also a great resource to provide as a reporting mechanism
- Cyberbullying Research Center Cyberbullying Research Center has great statistics and research on cyberbullying, including reports created from surveys
- Carly Ryan Foundation
Fact sheets for many popular apps, including intended uses and safety concerns. Additional safety resources are available on this site as well.
Has downloadable, ready-to-use technology safety presentations in a lesson-plan format
Has interactive activities to include with presentations
Has parent reviews of apps and lots of resource material
Wisconsin ICAC Task Force offers a bi-weekly podcast for tech safety information (Protect Kids Online), as well as online safety e-modules that parents and children can complete together (interact!)
- Pew Research Center:
Pew has great statistics and research on teens and tech use, including reports created from surveys
- ESRB.org (Entertainment Software Rating Board)
ESRB offers explanations of ratings on games and movies, as well as step-by-step directions for privacy settings on popular gaming consoles
- FOSI (Family Online Safety Institute)
Another great option for regular safety e-newsletter, information, and a great resource. FOSI also offers tech use contracts for the household geared toward different devices:
Device Safety Resources
(cell phones, tablets, gaming systems, desktops, laptops, etc.)
- Google – Family Safety
Learn about built-in features on your device(s) for parental controls, child safety, usage, and more!
Network and Routers
Apps for Content Filtering and Monitoring, Limiting Screen Time, Location Services
Did you know??
The difference between network and the internet is that a network is a connection of one or more computers installed in a location, while the internet is a relationship of computers linking them from all over the world
Definitions to Help Understand Tech Talk
Access Points: Work by connecting directly to your broadband router or network switch with an ethernet or data cable. This provides the AP with the internet connection and bandwidth required. It then transmits and receives a wireless signal in either the 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz frequency range (WIFI) boost, strength and distance.
Applications (Apps): A type of software that allows you to perform specific tasks.
Examples: Educational apps, lifestyle apps, social media apps, productivity apps, entertainment apps, and Game apps.
Blocklist: Denied access to a known list of email addresses, IP addresses, or applications that are deemed unsafe and restricted to run or being seen on a device or network.
Resource: A common web browsing blocklist is Google’s Safe Browsing, which is installed by default in Firefox, Safari, and Chrome!!
Chat Room or Group Chat (GC): Share information via text with a group of other users.
Computer Monitor: Electronic device with a screen used for display (as of television pictures or computer information.)
Computer Tower: A computer case which arranges the internal components vertically
Content Filtering: Setting controls on the types of content that you want your child to view.
Examples: Website filters, In App filters, content filters, block Apps
Content Monitoring: Usually third-party software (monitor app) allows you to actually view and monitor the data that is being viewed or sent on a device.
Examples: Reading text messages, the device’s GPS location, reading social media posts, device content and messages, reading emails and web search history.
Resource: Bark does a great job with this
Device Management: Each device your child uses may have features to allow you to set up controls that will allow you to manage their time and content on those devices.
Examples: Setting screen time limits, app download permissions, managing contact lists, and schedule time limits.
DNS: DNS Filtering is the process of using the Domain Name System to block malicious websites and filter out harmful or inappropriate content.
Did you know?? In the context of DNS filtering, a blocklist is a list of known harmful domains or IP addresses. DNS filtering vendors may rely upon blocklists that are shared within the cyber security community, generate their own blocklists, or do both. Some DNS filters will even evaluate webpages and add them to a blocklist automatically
Domain Name: The part of a network address that identifies it as belonging to a particular domain.
Email: Messages transmitted and received by digital computers through a network.
Filter: Reads data and manipulates the data to fit another output pattern or removes data that may not be needed.
GPS (Global Positioning System): A network of satellites and receiving devices used to determine the location of something on Earth.
HAN (Home Area Network) or Home network: A network connecting devices within a home
Examples: All the devices inside the household, including computers, smartphones, game consoles, televisions, and home assistants that are connected to the router are a part of the HAN. These networks are a type of LAN.
In-App Permissions: Allows you to deny or accept any permissions for the app. Change a permission setting, tap it, then choose Allow or Don’t allow.
Internet: A worldwide system of computer networks
IP Address: A unique string of characters that identifies each computer using the Internet protocol to communicate over a network.
ISP: Internet Service Provider
Login: When someone logs in or logs on, or logs into a computer system, they start using or accessing the system, usually by typing their name or identity code.
LAN (Local Area Network): Basic and common type of network, a LAN is a network connecting a group of devices in a “local” area, usually within the same building. These connections are generally powered through the use of ethernet cables, which have length limitations, as the speed of the connection will degrade beyond a certain length.
Examples: Connecting to Wi-Fi at restaurants, the library, mall, hospital, etc.
Message Board or Internet Forums: An online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.
Examples: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat and many others
Modem: It is a hardware component that allows a computer or another device, such as a router or switch, to connect to the Internet
Monitor: To watch, keep track of, or check usually for a special purpose
Network: A group of two or more computers or other electronic devices that are interconnected for the purpose of exchanging data and sharing resources.
Examples: Your home Wi-Fi is your home network. The Wireless LAN (Wireless Local Area Network) or HAN (Home Area Network), i.e. the Wi-Fi network) in your home is a good example of a small client-server network.
Password: A secret word or phrase that must be used to gain admission to something.
Permissions: Alternatively referred to as rights and privileges, permissions are access details given by users or network administrators that define access rights to files on a network.
Privacy – (1) The level of protection an individual has while connected to the Internet. (2) The right to have some control over how your personal information is collected and used. (3) The freedom of choosing who you share your important with information.
Private Message (PM or DM): Private communication channel between users on any given platform. Unlike public posts, PMs are only viewable by the participants.
Router/Wireless router: A device that communicates between the internet and the devices in your home. Routers do this by connecting to the internet
Sideloading: When referring to Android apps, “sideloading” typically means installing an application package in APK format onto an Android device. Such packages are usually downloaded from websites other than the official app store Google Play
Screen Time: The amount of time spent using a device with a screen such as a smartphone, computer, television, or video game console.
Social Media: Interactions among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.
Examples: Facebook, Youtube, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, TikTok, Roblox, Grand Theft Auto (GTA), Backpage
SSID (Service Set Identifier): Is simply the technical term for a Wi-Fi network name
USB (Universal Serial Bus): Assemblies are some of the most popular cable types available, used mostly to connect computers to peripheral devices such as cameras, camcorders, printers, scanners, and more.
VPN (Virtual Private Network): A service that helps you stay private online
VPN Filter: A modular malware that can extract data and steal passwords, with a plug-in structure that can provide extra functionality when needed. VPNFilter is also capable of self-destructing and destroying certain devices it has taken over, which means that it can remove important traces of itself.
WAN (Wide area network): A wide area network, covering any distance necessary
Examples: The Internet could be considered a WAN that covers the entire Earth.
Web browser: (commonly referred to as a browser) is a software application for accessing information on the World Wide Web.
Examples: Google, Firefox, Chrome
Whitelist: List of email addresses, IP addresses, or applications that are deemed safe and allowed to run or be seen on a device or network.
Examples: Whitelists are similar to a VIP list and only allow entry to the items on that list. They are both often used as cybersecurity measures.
Wi-Fi: Is a wireless networking technology that allows devices such as computers, mobile devices, and other equipment (printers and video cameras) to interface or talk with the Internet. It allows these devices to exchange information with one another, creating a network.
WiFi filter: Software that blocks access to websites that do not conform to standard security protocols and websites that hide their true identity behind a proxy server or the ‘who is’ privacy feature.