The web is a wonderful place, if you understand the dangers. It can open doors leading to a world of great information, communication and entertainment – and it can also be a direct path to danger for children. How do you know if your kids are at risk? How do you talk to your 5, 8, or 12 year old about online safety? A number of parents and community members that attended the Partners in Prevention Symposium had the same questions and concerns.
Do you know that 93% of teens aged 12-17 are now on the Internet? 89% of them go online from home and 77% of them go online from school (Pew Research Centre). Since most children’s online activity happens at home or at school, parents and teachers and everyone else with children in their lives are positioned to teach kids about safer Internet practices. So it’s important that we educate ourselves on how to keep children safe online.
The days where children spend the majority of their free time outdoors are behind us. Today’s reality is that kids are spending a great deal of their time online, whether at home on the computer or on the go with cellphones. Let’s make sure they’re safe there.
The following are resources that parents and caregivers can access to learn more about risks, safety guidelines, and how to talk to our children and youth about keeping safe online.
The Door that’s not Locked from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, brilliantly and easily provides you with a one-stop-shop on all things related to Internet safety, helping you understand the good, the bad, and the ugly about the web – and how to talk to your kids about it.
Cybertip is Canada’s national tip line for reporting the online exploitation of children. They are committed to providing parents and caregivers with up to date information about how to keep their children safe online.
Need Help Now is another great resource from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection that focuses on helping teens stop the spread of sexual pictures and photos while providing support every step of the way. This site focuses on information for parents and peers, reviewing the law and how to report, support for those experiencing cyberbullying, as well as getting emotional support and responding to a youth in crisis.
Parenting Tweens and Teens in a Digital World is a guide available to parents through the Canadian Centre for Child Protection that provides an overview of major issues facing teens today, such as cyberbullying, self/peer exploitation, and smart phone safety tips.
Smartphone Safety provides information on mobile technology, the risks to using this technology for children and youth, and safety strategies parents can implement in their home.