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New program teaches internet safety to kids

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NEW YORK, NY - At a public school in Manhattan, sixth, seventh and eighth graders are learning about privacy and social media.

The National Privacy Education Curriculum is available online through Fordham University’s Center on Law and Information Policy.

13-year-old Niesheima Smalls says the classes–taught by Fordham Law Students, are teaching her the do’s and don’ts of social networking.

From Facebook and Instagram to Kik and video chat app Ovoo, Smalls says she maintains four social networking profiles, which she visits daily.

“I’ve changed my privacy settings,” Smalls said.

The five week program designed by Cameron Russell teaches privacy basics and managing an online reputation. Russell says he thinks the program is immensely helpful for students.

Tips include showing students how to turn off the location settings, that tell others, where you are. Students are also reminded that anything they post might eventually be seen by schools — or even future employers.

“We thought it would be great to give middle schoolers an opportunity to think about what privacy means to them and be able to address it before any problems occur,” Russell said.

Fordham hopes the program will grow into a nationwide curriculum to help kids become smarter and safer when they are online.


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