With the COVID pandemic forcing everyone to spend more time at home, it is highly likely that more time is being spent on the internet. The Fort Saskatchewan RCMP would like to remind parents that the internet can be a very dangerous place for children and youth if they are left unsupervised.
In today’s day and age with the pace of technology, kids are facing different types of dangers, ones that their parents never had to deal with.
Here is some advice for parents on how they can help keep their children and teens safe while using the Internet:
- Set expectations early that you’ll be monitoring the use of personal devices, like smartphones and tablets.
- Get involved. If your kids are into online games, sign up and start playing. If they’re on social media, create a profile and connect. This is the best way to learn about the benefits, drawbacks and security features of these websites and apps.
- Role-playing can help parents and their kids talk about tough and uncomfortable topics. Ask questions like:
- “What would you do if this happened to a friend?”
- “What could happen if your friend didn’t tell anyone?”
- Sign up for notifications about concerning technology trends and new resources designed to protect children at www.cybertip.ca
- Talk about the potential impact of sharing sexually explicit images online:
- They’re permanent and can’t be easily removed from the Internet.
- They could be used against you for sextortion purposes.
- They could be found when you apply for university or a job.
- Make sure your child or teen knows what resources they can go to for help anonymously, like Kids Help Phone and Cybertip.ca, if they’re not comfortable talking to a parent or guardian.
211 Alberta has also launched an initiative to educate their call takers about Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. If they see any warning signs or anything requiring police intervention, they will call the police right away.
If you see something suspicious, report it to your local police. If you see a crime in progress, call 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS), online at www.p3TIPS.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.