The Internet is a global, decentralized network of computers taking advantage of common protocols permitting the transfer of information. No individual, company or government controls the Internet.
There are many risks and security issues involving the use of the Internet. Children and their parents should be most concerned about viewing inappropriate material, physical molestation, harassment and
Tips for Kids
- NEVER give out any personal information such as your address, telephone number, parents' place of work or their phone number, or the name and location of your school
- NEVER agree to get together with someone you 'meet' online without first checking with your parents
- NEVER send anyone your picture - Don't accept any pictures either
- NEVER respond to any messages that make you feel uncomfortable
- NEVER lose your common sense while online - Remember, you are talking to a stranger. The people you are talking to may not be who they say they are
- NEVER send an insulting or rude message to anyone online. 'Flaming' is not good 'Netiquette'
- Use a 'code name'
- Report any harassment or inappropriate messages to your online service and to the Police
- Set your browser to say NO to 'cookies'
Tips for Parents
- Learn about what your child is doing on the Internet - Know what Web Sites they are visiting, know what type of chat rooms, e-mail, and messages your child is involved in online
- Find out about Filtering Software that is available to block out objectionable material
- Set reasonable guidelines for computer use by your children - monitor the amount of time spent on the computer and when
- Keep computer usage as a family activity by putting the computer in a family room rather than in the child's bedroom
- Ensure your child does not give out personal information. Have them use a 'code name'
- Be wary of any offers that involve your child going to a meeting or having someone visit your home - Remember that people may not be who they seem
- Create a password for your computer that is hard to guess but easy to remember and change it often
- Monitor your credit card bills
Report any suspicious activity to the Police and ask for assistance.
For more Internet safety tips, please visit Be Web Aware.
While the Internet can be an incredible social and educational tool, your online safety depends on taking a proactive approach and protecting yourself, and your children, from bullying and cyber bullying, cyber stalking and online exploitation. Some useful resources include:
- NeedHelpNow lets you know how to take down pictures and videos that you’ve posted online
- CyberTip.cais Canada’s tip line to report online sexual exploitation of children
- ProtectKidsOnline.ca is the Canadian Centre for Child Protection
Let your child know they can talk to you about anything and that you will always support them, no matter what. Building trust is important and lets your child know that they can come to you without fear of judgment.
Social media and online technology are a regular part of your child’s life. Threatening to take away their Internet access or smart phone can have harmful effects; your child will be less willing to come and talk to you if something negative is happening to them online.
Social Media Sites
Social media sites let you share photos, videos and more with friends and family. You need to careful as strangers can sometimes see the information you share. One photo can give away personal information, like where you currently are or where you live. You can remove location information on apps and programs from the posts you make. Social media sites often update their security settings without warning. Make sure to check your settings at least once a week to ensure your privacy.
Remember that once you post something online, you cannot control who has shared, screen shot or downloaded it. Removing a post does not mean someone has not already taken that information and distributed it.
Chatting and making friends online
Chatting with people online and making new friends may seem harmless but it can be dangerous and lead to negative, dangerous and even criminal consequences. Make sure to never share your friends list, open suspicious messages/attachments and be aware of the dangers when scheduling a meeting.
Webcam Safety Tips
Webcams are a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. Make sure to never do or say anything that you would be ashamed about if someone else saw it as the video could be recorded, copied and shared. Hackers have taken control of webcams remotely. Consider covering your webcam with a sticky note or point it towards the wall when you’re not using it. Make sure to keep your device up to date with the latest security patches and operating system.
Photo Sharing Safety Tips
Photo sharing is a great way to let your friends and family know what’s going on in your life. However, you should be very careful. Once you send or upload a photo, it is out of your control. A private photo that you intended for only one person can be saved, altered and/or sent to anyone. You have no guarantee that the photo will stay hidden or safe. Keep this in mind when posting photos of your friends as well and always get their permission before posting.
Photos often has information about your location, which someone could use to find out where you live, go to school, or work. Consider finding an app that removes this information from photos you want to share online.
Sexting refers to sending photos, videos or messages that are sexual in nature by text message or online. Sexting has the same risks as photo sharing and webcam use: once you have sent a photo, video or message of yourself, it is out of your control. There is no way to limit who the photos or videos are passed on to or who will see them. Once a photo is online, it is out there forever.