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Internet Safety

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Officer is pointing to a computer screen to show a girl safety tips

The Internet is a useful tool that can bridge time and space between family and friends. It's allows you to research important topics, purchased items online and share information. Unfortunately, it also has a downside.

Criminals are always on the lookout for ways to exploit Internet users. Whether it is a case of online bullying, fraud or child pornography, everyone needs to use caution when engaging in online activities.

Use these quick tips to help safeguard you and your family:

  • Have secure settings on your computer. Whether it's for Wi-Fi access, social media sites, or email, using strong passwords and using website and software protection features will help protect you
  • Learn about what online platforms your kids use and familiarize yourself with them
  • Don't let children have computers in their rooms. Keeping the computer in a public space will allow you to monitor their online activity
  • Stress the importance of never sending or sharing inappropriate pictures or messages. This can negatively affect their future when applying to college or university or when looking for employment opportunities, and could potentially be a criminal offence
  • Talk to your children about inappropriate content and how to deal with it
  • Never give out personal information such as name, address, date of birth, computer passwords, banking information, etc. as

The key to safeguarding your child's online safety is to encourage an open dialogue and be involved in their online activity. Visit the Canadian governments Get Cyber Safe [hyperlink to their site] website or [hyperlink to their site] for more online safety tips.

Online Gaming

More and more kids are playing games online. It can be a great way for kids to connect with others, but it also opens them up to potential danger if they aren't aware of the risks associated to it and what they should do in any given situation.

  • Set down rules, guidelines and time limits before you let them start to play any game
  • Talk to them about posting or sharing any personal information or pictures
  • Ensure your computer has firewall protection and up-to-date spyware
  • Use long and strong passwords. Use upper and lower case letters, along with numbers and symbols
  • Do your research. Make sure the games they want to play are age appropriate
  • Tell your kids to make sure they tell you if someone is bullying them, making inappropriate comments, or making them feel uncomfortable
  • Teach your kids how to block someone or report inappropriate online comments or activity
  • Keep the computer in a central location, not in their room
  • Even if you don't let your kids play online games, they may be able to at school or at their friend's house. Make sure you still talk to them about the risks and making good decisions