Be Safe Online: TDS program to provide online safety tips

Children and teens in America are spending more time than ever watching or using screens and use among that age group increased 17 percent from 2019 to 2021.

This trend does not appear to be changing, which presents a growing need for parents and guardians to establish healthy boundaries.  TDS Telecom is offering a program to help educate families on internet safety that include tips on how to be safe online and important lessons for all of us on smart internet use.

With its Be Safe Online program TDS is partnering with Utah Tech University students to help spread the word to young students about safe internet habits.

Throughout the 2022-23 school year, a Be Safe Online program is planned for 28 elementary schools in Washington County, Utah. Schools will host a week-full of activities during the schools-designated Internet Safety Week. The week will conclude with a high-energy, music-filled all-school assembly.

“Elementary school students are taught about internet safety in a fun and engaging way. During the week, they will receive educational handouts to share with their parents with tips on being safe online and topics to encourage family conversations,” said Bulkley. “They will be asked to sign a safety pledge and then when they return the form to school, they will receive a free t-shirt with internet safety messaging on the shirt. Finally, students will be taught a memorable rap song to help them remember these safety principles.”

The program kicked off its first assembly on Friday, Sept. 9 at Desert Canyons Elementary School.

“We had a blast,” said Bulkley. “I can’t thank Utah Tech enough for bringing so much enthusiasm and talent. These elementary students really look up to these college students. Plus, they are so tech savvy and do a great job teaching how important it is to be safe online.”

Over the 2022-23 school year, the program is expected to reach about 18,000 elementary-age students.

For TDS, this meaningful program matches our corporate responsibility mission and  with our TDS Cares campaign. Our goal is to help students think safety first when they are online.

TDS is proud to be the title sponsor of Be Safe Online with Utah Tech University. TDS thanks Empowering Young Minds, part of the Crimson View Elementary PTA, for helping TDS promote this program throughout Washington County.

A shout out to Crimson View Elementary PTA members Allyson Luekenga and Avery Mortensen who worked with a team of parents to create the “STOP” Internet Safety Program.

“This was new territory for us and, as parents, we felt a need to teach some basic internet safety principles to our children,” said Luekenga. “The creation of this program is a result of what happens when people come together. We’re excited TDS and Utah Tech are helping us share it with our school community.”

Mortensen agreed saying this program gives children the tools they need to protect themselves.  “These safety tips are easy to remember and fun to learn.”

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