Looking for basic internet safety rules for kids and cyber safety lessons for kids? We have a huge list of fun ways to teach internet safety and about kids having an online presence safely — starting with e safety what is it and even hands-on online activities to practice what they learn! Tons of e safety teaching resources ideas!
Activities and Lessons For Basic Internet Safety Rules
Want to teach teach cyber security and add lessons on cyber safety for students this year? Try these safety activities for elementary students through high school!
Internet Safety Activity Ideas
What is the best way to teach children about online safety?
- Have a fun internet safety quiz competition
- Do a cyber security scavenger hunt (treasure hunt)
- Talk about the disadvantage of internet as well as the advantages of being online
- Do a Safe Online Shopping Role Play internet activity
- Download free internet safety worksheets for elementary students (fun printable activities)
- Make your own cyber safety board game
- Take an internet safety class for parents and families together
- Do an internet rules escape room
- Review and sign a Digital Citizenship Pledge (Online Safety Pledge)
- Celebrate Safer Internet Day (February 6th) and get some ideas for Internet Safety Day lessons
- Sign up for a free internet safety course for students
- Read How We Got Cyber Smart: A book about how to stay safe online – internet safety for preschoolers and kindergarten students
- Get free worksheets on internet safety for elementary students and high schoolers
KEEP SCROLLING for a full list of internet safety information for students, cyber security lesson plan ideas, and Internet Safety Day activity ideas!
IMPORTANT LEARNING TIP: Don’t forget to add preschool and kindergarten cybersafety courses when thinking of internet safety for elementary students. Start out teaching younger kids about internet issues!
Internet Safety Tips For Students
Incorporate these tips and reminders into internet safety lessons for kids, tweens, and teens.
Here are some essential internet safety tips for students to help them stay safe and responsible online:
Protect Personal Information
Avoid sharing personal information such as full name, address, phone number, school or co-op, and birthdate online. Keep this information private to prevent potential misuse.
Use Strong Passwords
Create strong and unique passwords for online accounts. Include a mix of upper and lower case letters, different numbers, and other special characters to increase difficulty. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays, names, pet names or something simple like password123.
Be Cautious with Social Media
Limit the amount of personal information shared on social media platforms. Review and adjust privacy settings to control who can see their posts and profile information.
Think Before You Post
Encourage students to think twice before posting anything online. Remind them that once something is shared, it can be challenging to take it back completely.
Be Alert About People You Don’t Know
Teach kids about interacting with strangers online, including in gaming communities and popular social media platforms. Avoid sharing personal information with people they don’t know in real life.
Recognize and Report Cyberbullying
Inform students about cyberbullying and its impact on others. Encourage them to report any instances of cyberbullying they witness or experience.
Teach students to question and verify information they come across online. Encourage them to use credible sources and fact-check information before accepting it as true.
Avoid Clicking Suspicious Links
Instruct students to avoid clicking on links from unknown sources or in suspicious emails, as they might lead to harmful websites or phishing attempts that steal information and login credentials and may lock them out of their devices.
Update Software and Apps
Regularly update operating systems, software, and apps on their devices for the latest security patches and protections. Teach your kids that if they see an update message pop-up, to come to you for help updating phones, tablets, and computers.
Use Secure Wi-Fi Connections
Encourage students to connect to secure and trusted Wi-Fi networks when accessing the internet. Talk to them about the dangers of using open, public WiFi networks where those logged into the same network can easily hack their accounts and hack devices.
Be Mindful of Online Friends
Remind students that not everyone online may be who they claim to be. Encourage kids to accept friend requests only from people they know in real life (IRL).
Set Time Limits
Help students balance their screen time and encourage them to take breaks from devices regularly. Promote offline activities and hobbies.
Report Suspicious Activity
Instruct students to report any suspicious or inappropriate behavior they encounter online to a parent, trusted adult, or teacher.
Respect Others Online
Openly discuss the importance of treating others with kindness and respect in all online interactions, including social media comments and gaming chats. Follow the rule of treating people how you want to be treated!
Trust Your Instincts And Tell An Adult
Teach kids to trust their instincts and if something feels uncomfortable or wrong online to alert a trusted adult. Keep an open communication about their online presence and regularly review and follow what they’re posting and doing online.
- Read the online safety book: Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn To Use the Internet Safely and Responsibly
Online Safety For Parents
- Download a free proactive parenting plan for dealing with online issues
- Understand solutions for parental controls on devices
- Review ways kids hide things on devices so you can keep them safe
- Download a list of popular apps and websites for kids
- Get a free fact sheet on the effect of devices on kids
ONLINE PARENTING TIP: Keep up to date on the latest internet trends! Join online groups like Parenting In Tech and follow trusted sources like Officer Gomez (who is a school resource officer and shares current trends for kids and teens).
Best Internet Safety Lesson Ideas For Students
These are great for lessons plans on internet safety tips for high school students, internet safety lesson plans middle school, and elementary students online safety ideas.
Checking Internet Information:
Lesson: How to identify valid information online.
Activity: “Fact or Fake?” Show kids different websites, articles, or social media posts and ask them to identify whether the information presented is true or false. Teach them to look for credible sources, cross-reference information, look for resources on all sides of the argument, and use fact-checking websites.
LEARNING TIP: Talk extensively about sharing links to articles or videos that they haven’t read or watched!
Lesson: Define what cyberbullying is and discuss its impact on victims. Encourage open conversations about emotions and experiences related to cyberbullying.
Activity: Role-playing scenarios where students take turns playing the role of the victim, the bully, and the bystander. Discuss appropriate responses and ways to report cyberbullying incidents.
Online Internet Safety:
Lesson: Spend time talking about the importance of NOT sharing personal information online and the importance of privacy settings.
Activity: Create a poster or infographic that highlights internet safety tips such as using strong passwords, avoiding suspicious links, and limiting online sharing.
Respectful Online Interaction:
Lesson: Discuss the impact of online words and actions on others. Teach the concept of digital citizenship and the responsibility of being kind and respectful online.
Activity: Engage in online discussions on a moderated platform, encouraging kids to express their opinions respectfully and respond constructively to others.
Internet Research Skills:
Lesson: Teach kids how to search effectively using search engines, evaluate sources, and use credible websites for research purposes.
Activity: Assign a research project where students need to find reliable information online (like why social media requires you to be age 13 activity) and present their findings to the class.
Social Media Awareness:
Lesson: Discuss the pros and cons of social media, including the potential for online harassment and the importance of managing screen time.
Activity: Have students create a social media post promoting positive online behavior and share it with their peers.
Online Gaming Etiquette:
Lesson: Explain the importance of sportsmanship and respectful communication while playing games online.
Activity: Role-play gaming scenarios where students practice giving constructive feedback and handling disagreements gracefully.
Get some ideas for role playing scenarios HERE
Identifying Online Scams:
Lesson: Educate kids about common online scams and how to recognize and avoid them.
Activity: Present different scenarios of potential online scams and have kids brainstorm strategies to avoid falling for them.
Lesson: Explain what a digital footprint is and how every online action leaves a trace. Discuss how sharing inappropriate content or engaging in negative behavior online can have serious consequences and can even result in legal ramifications that can follow them the rest of their lives.
Activity: Ask students to create a visual representation of their digital footprint, including positive and negative actions they might have taken online. Encourage them to reflect on how they can improve their digital footprint.
Get a digital footprint lesson and activity HERE
Recognizing Manipulative Content:
Lesson: Teach kids to identify and critically assess manipulative content, such as clickbait articles, fake news, or emotionally charged posts.
Activity: Show examples of misleading content and engage in group discussions to analyze the techniques used to manipulate readers. Teach them to look for reliable sources and fact-check information.
Get a free manipulated media lesson plan HERE
Online Privacy and Security:
Lesson: Educate students about the importance of protecting personal information and the potential risks of sharing sensitive data online.
Activity: Have students create a personal data protection plan, outlining the steps they will take to safeguard their online identities.
Get lessons on data privacy HERE
Digital Citizenship Pledge:
Lesson: Discuss the qualities of a responsible digital citizen and the impact of positive online behavior on the community.
Activity: Have students write and sign a digital citizenship pledge, committing to be respectful, honest, and responsible online.
Understanding Social Media Algorithms:
Lesson: Explain how social media algorithms work and how they can influence the content users see.
Activity: Conduct a class experiment where students post different types of content and observe how algorithms prioritize and display their posts. Discuss the implications of algorithmic bias.
Watch a video on how algorithms work HERE
Managing Screen Time:
Lesson: Teach kids about the importance of balancing online and offline activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Activity: Have students track their screen time for a week and discuss their findings. Brainstorm strategies to reduce excessive screen time and encourage other hobbies.
Reporting Inappropriate Content:
Lesson: Explain the process of reporting offensive or harmful content on social media platforms and other online spaces.
Activity: Role-play scenarios where students practice reporting inappropriate content and discuss the potential outcomes of such actions.
This tattling vs reporting activity is great for younger kids.
Online Positive Reinforcement:
Lesson: Promote a culture of positivity and support online by acknowledging and encouraging good behavior.
Activity: Organize a virtual appreciation event where students can share positive messages and compliments with their peers.
Online Collaboration and Communication Skills:
Lesson: Teach effective ways to collaborate with others online, emphasizing the importance of clear and respectful communication.
Activity: Assign group projects that require students to collaborate virtually, using tools like shared documents or video conferencing.
Understanding Online Ads and Influencers:
Lesson: Help kids recognize the difference between advertisements and genuine content, especially on social media platforms.
Activity: Analyze sponsored posts and influencer marketing campaigns with students to identify the underlying promotional messages and potential biases.
Get lesson plan ideas HERE
Digital Empathy and Empathy Online:
Lesson: Teach the importance of empathy in online interactions and how it can create a positive and supportive online environment.
Activity: Encourage students to share personal experiences or stories where digital empathy made a difference in their online interactions.
Creating Strong Passwords and Secure Accounts:
Lesson: Educate kids on the significance of using strong, unique passwords and the importance of multi-factor authentication.
Activity: Have students design and create a memorable acronym or a fun rhyme that reminds them of the elements of a strong password.
Recognizing and Avoiding Phishing Attempts:
Lesson: Explain the concept of phishing and common tactics used by scammers to steal personal information.
Activity: Present students with examples of phishing emails or messages and challenge them to spot the red flags.
Download a free teacher resource on phishing HERE.
Digital Detox and Mental Health:
Lesson: Discuss the impact of excessive screen time on mental health and well-being.
Activity: Encourage students to plan a “Digital Detox Day” where they spend time away from screens and engage in other fulfilling activities.
Safe Online Shopping:
Lesson: Teach kids about safe online shopping practices, including using secure websites and avoiding sharing sensitive information unnecessarily.
Activity: Have students create a step-by-step guide for safe online shopping, including tips on how to identify reputable e-commerce sites.
Responsible Content Creation and Sharing:
Lesson: Discuss the importance of responsible content creation and the potential consequences of sharing inappropriate or harmful material.
Activity: Task students with creating positive and educational content, such as blog posts, videos, or artwork, that promotes responsible internet use.
Digital Identity and Reputation Management:
Lesson: Help students understand the concept of their digital identity and how their online actions contribute to their reputation.
Activity: Have students conduct a “digital audit” of their online presence, looking for both positive and negative elements.
Online Gaming and Cybersecurity:
Lesson: Explain the risks associated with online gaming, including chat vulnerabilities and account security.
Activity: Organize a cybersecurity-themed gaming session where students learn about in-game safety and report any suspicious behavior.
Fun Internet Activities for Kids To Practice Online Safety
Digital Scavenger Hunt:
Create a list of safe and unsafe online behaviors or scenarios.
Divide kids into teams and ask them to find examples of these behaviors online.
Have them report back to the group and discuss why each behavior is safe or unsafe.
Online Safety Role-Playing:
Prepare scenarios involving online interactions, such as receiving a friend request from a stranger or encountering cyberbullying.
Assign roles to students and have them act out how they would respond in each situation.
Discuss the outcomes and the best ways to handle such situations.
Create Digital Posters:
Assign topics related to internet safety, such as “Protecting Personal Information” or “Identifying Fake News.”
Let students create digital posters using tools like Canva or Google Slides, highlighting key tips and strategies for staying safe online.
Safety in Social Media Profiles:
Have kids design their ideal social media profile, including profile pictures, a bio, and posts.
Discuss privacy settings and how to limit access to personal information on social media platforms.
Password Strength Competition:
Organize a password creation contest where students create strong and memorable passwords.
Use online tools to check the strength of passwords and declare winners with the most secure ones.
Spot the Phishing Email:
Show examples of phishing emails, some real and some fake.
Challenge students to identify the phishing attempts and explain how they could tell the difference.
Digital Citizenship Pledge Wall:
Set up a bulletin board, contract, or a virtual “pledge wall.”
Ask students to write down their commitments to be responsible digital citizens and display them for the whole class to see.
Internet Safety Quiz Show:
Create a quiz show-style game where kids answer questions about online safety.
Use multiple-choice questions and interactive tools like Kahoot for an engaging experience.
Online Safety Art Project:
Have kids create artwork that represents different aspects of online safety.
Encourage them to use their creativity to depict safe online practices and potential dangers.
Safe Website Design Challenge:
Divide students into groups and assign them different types of websites (e.g., educational, gaming, social media).
Have each group design a safe and user-friendly website that promotes responsible online behavior.
Privacy Settings Review:
Walk students through the privacy settings of popular social media platforms or online services.
Have them adjust their settings to maximize their privacy and minimize data sharing.
Online Safety Comic Strips:
Ask students to create comic strips that depict various online safety scenarios, such as encountering cyberbullying or identifying misinformation.
Let them use speech bubbles and illustrations to convey the right actions and responses in each situation.
This is a great cyber activity for younger students and internet safety lesson elementary ideas to help the understand the importance of safety online.
Digital Storytelling for Internet Safety:
Have kids write and record short digital stories or skits that revolve around internet safety topics.
Encourage them to use creative storytelling to convey important messages about online safety and good digital citizenship.
Personal Cybersecurity Audit:
Guide students to conduct a personal cybersecurity audit of their devices and online accounts.
Have them assess their passwords, privacy settings, and other security measures and suggest improvements where necessary.
Safe Social Media Profile Review:
Ask students to review each other’s social media profiles (with permission) and provide feedback on their privacy settings and the appropriateness of their posts.
Emphasize the importance of maintaining a positive and respectful online presence.
Internet Safety Song, Rap, or Play:
Encourage kids to write and perform an internet safety song or rap. Give them a list of internet safety rules that they have to include in the presentation.
This fun and creative activity will reinforce key internet safety messages in a memorable way.
Virtual Field Trip:
Take a virtual field trip to a cybersecurity or internet safety organization’s website or attend an online webinar on internet safety topics.
Discuss key takeaways from the experience and how they can be applied in their online activities.
Safe Online Shopping Role Play:
Set up a pretend online shopping scenario where students take turns playing the roles of the shopper, the seller, and the website.
Practice safe online shopping strategies, including verifying the legitimacy of the website and protecting personal information during the transaction.
Create Internet Safety Pamphlets:
Assign groups of students to create informative pamphlets on various internet safety topics.
They can include tips, guidelines, and illustrations to educate others about staying safe online.
Online Safety Escape Room:
Develop an online safety-themed escape room activity where students have to solve puzzles and complete challenges related to internet safety to “escape” the room.
Guest Speaker or Panel Discussion:
Invite a cybersecurity expert or a representative from a local organization to talk about internet safety and answer students’ questions.
Let us know if you have any ideas for internet safety for elementary students through high school students and we’ll add them to our list!