FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – February 5 is internationally known as Safer Internet Day.
Safer internet Days is a day when people and organizations around the world join forces to help make the online world a safer place for young people.
According to the RCMP, online safety is becoming a larger concern for parents/guardians and their children every year as they hear more and more about the bullying, scams and sextortions that occurs for many youth and even adults.
The RCMP says the online world can be a wonderful place but it needs to be navigated safely for the protection of our youth.
Here are some tips to protect your children, and maybe even yourself, and possibly help others along the way. Teach your children to:
- Always limit the amount of information that is shared online, whether that be in pictures/video or what you write. Keep addresses, phone numbers, school names and logos off the web. That information can be put together to know quite a bit about you or your family.
- Only befriend people they know.
- Respect themselves and not to digitize their body by taking pictures or video of themselves that they wouldn’t want their grandma to see.
- Block and report offending social media accounts/game players where they receive requests for nude pictures or videos.
- Tell someone they trust or report to police if pictures get sent to your child of someone they know. Offenders count on people keeping this secret because it is too embarrassing for some, others want to protect friends, or they don’t want parents/guardians to find out.
- Tell someone they trust or report to police if they or someone they know is being sextorted, so they or their friend can get support instead of suffering alone.
RCMP say there is no age too young to try to teach online safety.
Zoe & Molly Online is a website supported by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and designed specifically for children between the ages of 8 and 10 years old. Through online comics, an interactive game and quiz, children have the opportunity to have some fun while increasing safety confidence. This site also lets them practice online safety skills that give them the tools and knowledge in order to respond to unwanted solicitation online and to make safe responsible choices.