Rep. Tom Rice, Google talk internet safety at Myrtle Beach Middle

Grand Strand

The internet can be a rich source of information for students, but kids can also be at risk of exposure or online danger. 

Sixth graders at Myrtle Beach Middle School got a visit Tuesday from Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) during a Google-sponsored assembly on internet safety. 

Google’s Online Safety Roadshow: How to Be Internet Awesome teaches students responsible internet practices and ways to explore the online world confidently. 

Sixth grader Beckham Kiskunas said he’s had a phone for a couple years. It tells him how much time he spends on it. 

“When I see it it’s like, woah wow! That’s really kind of sad,” Kiskunas said.

Beckham and the other sixth graders at Myrtle Beach Middle learned about responsible internet use like avoiding online scams and the risk of sharing questionable posts. 

“We ask everyone to actually do the grandparent test,” Google spokesperson Jamie Hill said. “So stop and think about, ‘if I post this and my grandparents saw it, would that be okay?’ And if not, it’s probably not a good thing to share.”

According to Google, 15 percent of Americans have never checked their social media settings and half of users location-tag their posts. 

“When I was a kid, grownups would tell us don’t get in the car with strangers, you know that was about what we had to worry about,” Rep. Rice said. “Well today there’s so many other ways that kids can be manipulated.”

Rice spoke at the assembly about how the internet is an important tool. “But a tool can be used in good ways, and it can be used in bad ways.”

Having a strong password can prevent some of the bad ways from affecting kids. Google recommends using a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols that are different for every account. 

Google has a website you can explore for more guidelines on making sure your whole family is practicing good online habits. 

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