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Online Safety

  • Keep the family computer in a public space so children’s activities online can be monitored – don’t allow children to have a computer or use devices in their room.
  • Have a secure Wi-Fi setting on your computer, and ensure passwords for email, social media sites and online shopping profiles are strong so they are less likely to be compromised.
  • Ensure your computer has anti-virus protection installed on it.
  • Never send or share inappropriate photos of messages.
  • Be cautious when giving out personal information such as your name, address, birthday and banking information.
  • Instruct your children to tell you if they are being bullied, or if someone is sending them inappropriate pictures or messages, or making them feel uncomfortable.
  • Remember – If something online sounds too good to be true – it probably is!
  • NEVER share your passwords and select a complex password of letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Beware of internet promotions that ask for personal information. Identity thieves may use false offers to get you to give them your information.
  • After completing any type of financial transaction online, make sure you sign out of the website and clear your internet file/cache.
  • Before giving your credit card number or other financial information to a business, make sure that their website is protected and secured. Look for a lock symbol located somewhere on the browser or make sure the URL begins with https://.
  • A lot of people use Facebook and other social media accounts. Identity thieves can take simple information such as your birth date and pets names as clues to common passwords and steal your identity. Make sure to keep your privacy settings set high when using social media accounts.
  • Install anti-virus, fire-wall, anti-spyware and keep it up to date.

Sexting is when people send and receive sexual messages or images over some form of technology (cell phone, webcam, app or website). Once you hit “Send”, you lose all control over that image. The image you sent could end up posted on social media or any other public site and be shared with thousands of people in minutes.

If you receive a sexually explicit image and choose to share that image with others you could be charged under the Criminal Code of Canada. Learn more Sexting and the Law about Sharing Intimate Images – OWJN

 A lurker in internet culture is usually part of an online community who observes but doesn’t participate. Lurkers make up a large amount of users in online communities however there are dangers with lurking. As a lurker the lack of social contact while lurking sometimes causes loneliness or apathy within the teen/child.

The internet allows for easy communication with teens and children through online chatting, photo sharing, webcams, sexting, online gaming and social networking websites.

Youth are vulnerable to being lured or victimized online as their behaviour is less inhibited when using technology. Things can quickly and easily spiral out of control with the predator’s tactics or scams leaving the youth feeling like there is “no way out”.

Luring scams may involve: pretending to be a fake boyfriend/girlfriend; flattery and use of compliments to create a fake relationship; chatting privately and secretly; using intimidation tactics to prevent ending a relationship; or playing the “good guy” by telling them everything they want to hear and taking their side.

Learn more at and

 Senior citizens are embracing the digital age in greater numbers every year, and may be vulnerable to online scammers. Learn how to minimize your risks online:

Seniors’ guide to staying cyber safe during COVID-19 - Get Cyber Safe

Additional Resources:

Get Cyber Safe is a national public awareness campaign created to inform Canadians about cyber security and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves online.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (CCCP) offers resources to keep kids safe.

Media Smarts, Canada’s Centre for Digital Media Literacy, also has resources for parents.

Learn about the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario here.

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