Internet Safety Tips for Parents, Kids and Teens.
Our government and health officials have asked us all to stay at home as much as possible to prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19. Many of us, including our children find themselves with a great deal of time on our hands and searching for something to pass that time. As a result, many people from every age group find themselves on-line, using social media, web-surfing, watching videos, video chats, virtual meetings, etc…the list is endless. Many of these on-line activities may seem innocuous however there can be pitfalls and dangers that we can avoid by following some basic internet safety tips. As they say…Idle hands…
None of these safety concerns are new and have been a source of concern for all of us for some time. In this segment, we focus on the first pillar of our service delivery principles which are “Education, Awareness, and Enforcement”. Education and early prevention is always our first line of defence in combatting on-line criminal behaviour and victimization.
The LaSalle Police Service would like to share some best practices or tips for a safer life on-line…
Children and Teens:
Do not give out passwords, names, addresses or any revealing information about you, your family or your friends;
Do not talk to strangers over the internet. If someone you don’t know tries to contact you, tell a parent or adult;
Do not agree to meet anyone that you’ve met on-line. This can be VERY dangerous;
Do not visit chat rooms without your parent’s or an adult’s permission;
Do not stay on a website if you see something that you know is inappropriate;
Do not post pictures of yourself without your parent’s or an adult’s permission. This can lead to embarrassment or danger from on-line predators;
Ask a parent of adult before installing any apps or programs on your device or computer.
Know you children’s password to their devices and accounts and have them show you their accounts periodically. You’re not intruding on their privacy and make it a rule before they’re allowed to use the device or websites;
Take the time and get to know the popular social media apps such as SnapChat, TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, and any platform they may use;
Check their chats, social media posts and photos on their device regularly to make sure there is no questionable activity or content;
Be open with your teens and talk with them regularly about healthy relationships, boundaries and keeping your privates private. This is an opportunity to encourage open discussion based on trust. You can provide your teen with education and “red flags” and at the same time you might learn a thing or two as well;
Try to set limits on the use of devices. Some of us get consumed with spending time on-line and forget that there’s much more to life than surfing the internet and chatting on-line;
Our children are curious and will seek answers and investigate further…on their own. The best prevention is to stay actively involved with your child.
For more information on how to keep your children safe while navigating the internet and social media, visit, Protect Kids On-line and The Canadian Red Cross.
Another great community partner is Essex County Youth Diversion which offers a program geared for teens called “Keep Your Privates Private”. Check it out here: http://ecyouthdiversion.ca/programs/messagerespect-programs/