Recent Alumni Events

Riverdale Middle Schoolers Learn About Online Safety
Posted 10/01/2014 03:39PM
At an assembly today, Middle School students learned that they need to tread carefully in their digital lives.

Marje Monroe, the founder of eKids Consulting, told the students that the words "privacy" and "delete" have no meaning in cyberspace. "Companies right now are archiving every single thing we do," she said. "There is huge money in everything that is stored online. Everything you do is saved and stored; it's never deleted. Nothing is private. Don't be fooled."

She told the students that texts, Facebook postings, photos, online conversations and virtually all activity on social media is archived somewhere and could be mined at some point in the future. SnapChat, she said, was recently fined by the FCC for deceiving consumers by promising that photos sent through the service would automatically disappear after being opened.

When online, students need to be wary about sharing information (names, addresses, phone numbers, zip codes), with strangers and companies, signing up for "special offers," and playing online games that might seek personal information. Teenagers are prime targets for identity theft, hacking, scams, and other predatory tactics, she said.

Companies, she said, "are looking for your information. Don't give it away."

Bullying is a huge problem online. "It is not okay that we have 1 out of 4 kids bullied online," she said. What's worse is that "85 percent of students who witness bullying online choose to do nothing." The bullying in gaming chat rooms, in particular, can be "horrendous" she told them.

She told the students to approach all information on the web with skepticism and caution. "You guys question everything," she said. "Ask questions. Learn the truth."
On Friday, the Middle School is celebrating Community Day. The theme is "(In)Visible Landscapes: Growing Up In the Digital Age." Monroe said the day offered an opportunity to talk about both the positive and negative ways that technology affects how we live and treat each other.

"Electronic information is amazing," she said. "It is transforming our world. But you need to protect yourselves."
On Tuesday night, Monroe met with Middle School parents to discuss online safety. A video of her presentation will be made available to parents shortly.

For More Information

Robin Gottlieb
Director of Alumni Affairs and Institutional Engagement
718-519-2703
rgottlieb@riverdale.edu

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