Worried about your child’s online safety? As you know, many kids are confident that they know how to be safe online. However, there are a few reasons kids are often more at risk. They may not always think about the consequences of their actions, which can cause them to share too much information about themselves. You can help keep your kids safe by talking to them about their Internet use, teaching them about online dangers, and learning everything you can about the Internet so you can make informed decisions.
What Can You Do to Create a Safer Digital World for Your Child?
- Talk to your child about ways to be safe online.
- Stay informed about concerning technology trends (Cybertip.ca ALERTS).
- Report concerns about youth being sexually exploited online (Cybertip.ca).
Online Safety – Programs and Online Resources:
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s 12 Quick Privacy Tips for Parents provides 12 tips to help parents limit the risks to their childrenâ’s personal information, while allowing them to make the most of their time online. You can also find some great great video content including: Social Smarts Graphic Novel: privacy, the Internet and you and What You Can Do to Protect your Online Rep, which provides tips and advice for youth on what they should consider when they are posting information online.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection offers numerous resources, many of them free, as well as a full list of programs and activities about online safety.
The GCF Learn Free‘s Tutorial on Internet Safety for Kids provides internet safety tips to help you talk to your children about their Internet use, teach them about online dangers, and learn everything you can about the Internet so you can make informed decisions. The tutorial includes specifics on understanding file-sharing networks and even how to use social networks safely. For the full tutorial, visit GCF Learn Free.
The Door That’s Not Locked features age-specific information on what kids are doing online, the risks associated with these activities, and age-appropriate tips for parents and educators on how to keep children safe. Here, you’ll find a variety of resources and tools that will help you keep your child safer while they’re exploring and enjoying the online world. From learning what online activities are popular and how your child uses them, to discovering ways to talk to your child about healthy versus unhealthy relationships, this website will give you the important information you need.
MediaSmarts is a Canadian not-for-profit charitable organization for digital and media literacy. The non-profit has been developing digital and media literacy programs and resources for Canadian homes, schools and communities since 1996. Through their work , they support adults with information and tools so they can help children and teens develop the critical thinking skills they need for interacting with the media they love. An example of what they offer is MediaSmart’s Privacy Pirates, which introduces children, ages 7 to 9, to the concept of online privacy and teaches them to distinguish between information that is appropriate to share online and information that is better kept private. Here are Specific Resources from MediaSmart on Managing Screen Time:
- On using parental controls
- 4 tips for managing screen time
- Lesson plan: Finding balance in our digital lives
- Lesson plan: game time (this one is specifically about video games both pros and cons including screen time)
- Screen time and well-being fact sheet
- Info on excessive internet use
MediaSmart also has resources and tools for teachers and schools staff (Includes lesson plans, educational games, etc.)
The Zoe and Molly Online website provides information to help parents and educators teach children 8 to 10 years of age about the risks associated with playing games online and sharing their personal information and pictures online. Children can learn through special online games that allow them to create their very own avatar and complete an interactive comic book that helps teach them how to stay safe while adventuring through the online world.
Kids in the Know is an interactive safety education program for increasing the personal safety of children and youth from Kindergarten to High School. The purpose of the program is to reduce child/youth victimization online by teaching effective personal safety strategies.
Teatree Tells: A Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Kit is designed for children four to six years of age. Lessons are age-appropriate, fun and include an animated character (Teatree the Turtle) to help teach children how to be safe. Topics include lessons on identifying safe adults, identifying feelings, naming body parts, establishing personal boundaries, and okay and not okay touching.
Be Strong, Smart & Safe recognizesthe challenges in discussing the issue of child sexual abuse, and in this initiativ, they help teachers and parents educate children in Grades 5 and 6 about this subject in an empowering way. Through a myriad of fun activities, children learn how to identify inappropriate behaviour, and how to talk to a safe adult when something makes them feel uncomfortable.
Cyber Tip is Canada’s tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children. In addition to accepting and forwarding child sexual exploitation reports to law enforcement, Cybertip.ca provides education and awareness material to help keep Canadians safe. Prevention material is developed in conjunction with public reports to the tipline and research on effective education strategies.
The PAUSE Campaign includes online information and tools including the tips to help the family manage screen time, the PAUSE Pact and even Apps to help you manage screen time, monitor your habits and even block access at pre-determined times, etc.