Staying on top of emerging online risks can be a challenge for parents/guardians. New apps and sites are always emerging, known sites regularly change their protection features and those looking to harm youth are finding new ways to connect and manipulate children and youth. Below you will find information about online dangers and what you and your child can do about them.
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Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that takes place through the use of computers, phones and other devices. It is abusive, targeted, deliberate and repeated behaviour intended to harm another person. And unlike face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying doesn’t take a break – kids can be reached with hurtful messages any time of day.
Remember to have regular conversations. Unfortunately, there isn’t a 30-minute crash course on this topic that will be effective. Explain the following to your child:
Online luring commonly refers to the process through which someone communicates with a child online for a sexual purpose. The Criminal Code (Canada) defines a luring offence as someone using telecommunications (e.g., chat, messaging, texting) to communicate with someone they believe to be under the age of 18 in order to commit a designated offence against that child. Individuals seeking access to children for a sexual purpose may connect with kids at this age through online games and apps that have a chat and/or video chat capability.
Kids as young as eight and nine years old are coming across sexually explicit material on the Internet.
Children can be exposed to sexually explicit material, such as adult pornography, simply by typing an incorrect web address into a web browser or clicking on an inappropriate search result and unexpectedly finding themselves on a site they did not intend to.
To help reduce the chance of your child accessing pornography:
* Given there is such a wide range of software available for parents, and they all come with different benefits and risks, we are unable to provide any specific recommendations regarding software available for protecting children online. Most devices/browsers do provide the option to use parental controls to block access to sites flagged as being for individuals over 18; however, the available options will depend on the type of device and what browser (Safari, Google Chrome, etc.) is being used to access the internet. Most devices also offer parental controls to limit the type of apps that can be downloaded on the device.
However, don’t rely solely on these settings. Having parental controls on does not guarantee completely safe viewing. Parental supervision is still key.
If you notice your child is in distress and you suspect it’s from viewing sexually explicit material:
For more information, see Additional Information.