Parents Primary School Students Secondary School Students
The use of Internet and electronic screen products have become an integral part of daily living. Increasing numbers of education professionals are using online communication tools both personally and professionally. The boundary between teachers and students may become blurred. Although it is full of fun and excitement in the adventure of the digital world, there are potential risks which may affect our physical & psychological health. Educators play an important role in equipping students with the skills to properly use the Internet and electronic screen products.

Frequently Asked Questions
A. Teach the importance of cyber-safety
1. What e-safety issues should my students and I be aware of? Show Answer
1. Inappropriate content is available to children online. Some online materials may contain violent or sexually-explicit content, dirty languages or other inappropriate behaviours which are not suitable for children and young people.

2. By giving out personal information when chatting or posting online, students may be at risk of making their personal information public. These information may be replicated or recorded permanently in the Internet which may cause serious consequences.

3. Students may become victims of online predators if they disclose too much personal information or post nude pictures.

4. By receiving, sending or forwarding threatening and unwanted messages, students may be involved in cyber-bullying.

5. There is a risk of excessive use of the Internet and gaming which may affect other important aspects of their lives, including academic performance, daily activities, interpersonal communications.

2. What specific advice should I give my students regarding Internet safety? Show Answer
1. Be aware of the consequences of their digital footprint and think before sharing photos or videos online. Students should be reminded that information put online is unlikely to be cleared from Internet record.

2. Change passwords regularly. Always keep personal information private such as address, telephone number, etc. Adjust the privacy settings on the social networking sites so that only their approved friends can view their profile and instant message them.

3. Students should be aware that meeting someone they have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Never chat, video chat or arrange face-to-face meeting with anyone they know online but do not know in the real world.

4. Teach your students the importance of filtering software and high security settings which can block unwanted messages.

5. Download or install software from official and reliable sources so as to protect their computers from hackers.

6. Information on the Internet may not be true. Always check information with other official websites, books or experts.

7. Enrich your students' knowledge on laws or regulations related to Internet behavior and the consequences of such offences.

8. To share with students the news about cyber-crime to raise their alertness.

B. Help to prevent your students from excessive use of the Internet
3. How can I pick up students who may be using Internet excessively? Show Answer
Communicate with your students' parents and observe your students' behaviours. There are signs to look for if you suspect your student may be using the Internet excessively:

1. Often uses more time online than planned and sacrifices needed hours of sleep to spend time online, resulting in excessive fatigue.

2. Academic problem such as sudden decline in grades, failure to hand in homework, being late for school and truancy.

3. Becomes agitated or angry when online time is interrupted. Preoccupied with online activities, feeling lost and anxious when offline.

4. Withdrawal from friends and family. Prefer to spend time online rather than with friends or family. Conflicts with family when restricted from online access.

5. Withdrawal from their usual extra-curricular activities, loss of interest in activities or hobbies.

4. How can I work together with parents in preventing my students from excessive use of the Internet? Show Answer
1. Spend time and talk with your students about their favourite websites, online activities, etc., actively listen and try to understand the reasons behind their use of the Internet.

2. Understand your students' difficulties and underlying problems such as lack of achievement motivation, low self-esteem, learning problem, over reliance on gaming for a sense of satisfaction and achievement. Students may be more willing to discuss their problems and seek help from you if they feel being understood.

3. Help your students understand the risks and benefits of using the Internet. Help them develop proper attitude and a balanced and healthy life style. Teach them time management skills and set time limit on Internet use. Develop your students' interests and strengths. Expand their exposure and social network by participating in a wide variety of activities.

4. Maintain close and regular communication with parents. Early recognition of signs and symptoms of excessive use of the Internet is important. Refer to professionals for counseling and follow-up.
C. Maintain professional boundaries when using online tools
5. What should I be aware of when I use email or smartphone to contact students or parents? Show Answer

1. Find out about the school policy and the etiquette for contacting students inside and outside the classroom using email and smartphone.

2. You can contact students and parents through different channels including telephone and email. If your students do need to contact you with regard to assignments or examinations, your school email address is to be preferred. You may consider setting up a separate account instead of using personal email accounts to contact students or parents.

3. If you are going to "chat" with your students online, ensure you set up "office hour" so that you are free to end the conversation when the time is up. You may also want to set time limits on how long you speak with each student. Make sure that your students and their parents are aware of these boundaries and limits.

4. Office telephone is preferred, keep personal phone numbers private when using smartphones to contact students or parents.
6. What should I do if a student wants to "friend" me on my social networking account? Show Answer
1. You can use different channels to communicate with your students so as to understand their feelings and behaviours. You are advised to use official channels of communication, e.g. office email address or set up a separate profile to be used only for school.

2. Avoid using personal email account to contact students. Establish professional boundaries and avoid "friending" students and parents or giving them access to personal blogs and image-sharing sites. Avoid sharing your students' or your own personal information.

D. Be aware of cyber-bullying
7. What should I emphasize to my students about cyber-bullying? Show Answer
1. Overseas and local studies found that cyber-bullying victimization is associated with serious psychosocial, affective and academic problems such as low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, school refusal, social withdrawal and even suicidal ideation.

2. Cyber-bullying, like other forms of bullying, is never acceptable. Something sent as a joke may be deeply upsetting or offensive to others. The sender may send it as a joke without thinking or being aware of the potential seriousness of the consequence.

3. Cyber-bullying material can be distributed worldwide rapidly. Sending or forwarding nasty messages could be assisting a bully, and even be accused of cyber-bullying.
8. What can I do to prevent cyber-bullying? Show Answer
1. Emphasize the school's anti-bullying policy. Educate students about cyber-bullying and help them understand how to prevent and respond to incidents of cyber-bullying. Build a safe environment and establish a school culture of acceptance and respect.

2. Talk to your students about privacy and respect. Tell your students not to quote or forward others' personal messages without permission.

3. Remind your students not to incite cyber-bullying. Encourage them to stop the incidents under safe circumstances and report to teachers.

4. Encourage proper netiquette for communicating online, including guidelines for acceptable language and content. Respect people with different opinions and reinforce positive social interactions.

5. Encourage your students to be a responsible digital citizen. Students need to have a better understanding of family, school, and legal limits of online speech.
9. How do I know when my student is being cyberbullied? Show Answer
Communicate with parents and observe your students' behaviours. Students who are cyberbullied may exhibit the following signs:

1. Showing signs of significant emotional distress after using the Internet.

2. Becoming more anxious when emails or texts arrive.

3. Declining grades and loss of interest in schoolwork.

4. Being bullied at school.

5. Avoidance of social situations or not wanting to go to school.
10. What should I do if a student makes a disclosure? Show Answer
1. Familiarize with the school policy which addresses the issue of cyber-bullying.

2. Stay calm and acknowledge your student's courage and assertiveness to seek help. Show your support and do not blame the student.

3. Identify and correct myths such as "the bullies have the right to demean those who are inferior" or "it is useless to seek help".

4. Save the evidence. Learn how to keep records of offending messages, pictures or online conversation.

5. Never retaliate or reply to bullying messages so as to avoid aggravating the problem.

6. Block the bully. Filtering software and security setting adjustment may help. Report to the moderator of the site or service provider.

7. If the cyber-bullying is serious or if the messages include threats, report to the police.
Updates of health tips based on revised recommendations from American Academy of Pediatrics :
Health Tips Version 2014 Version 2018  《NEW》
Limit screen time and
choose screen activities wisely
Under 2 years old:
Avoid screen time as far as possible. Parents should spend as much quality time with children as possible to replace screen time in order to promote the cognitive, physical, social and emotional development of children. In any case, children should not be left alone with the electronic screen products.
Under 2 years old:
Your child needs a large amount of parent-child interaction before two years old. Avoid letting him in contact with any electronic screen products unless to do interactive video-chat with family members under parents’ guidance. If you think the use of certain screen activity may benefit his learning and development, always accompany and guide him and set limits for him.
2 to 6 years old:
If electronic screen products have to be used, screen time should be limited to no more than two hours a day and under the guidance and supervision by parents and teachers.
2 to 5 years old:
The daily accumulated time for your child to watch TV or use computer, tablet computer or smartphone should be restricted to within one hour. The screen activities should be interactive and educative, and to be carried out under your guidance.