Use #SaferInternetDay as a reminder

Kids at high risk, but computer safety affects all generations

Today is Safer Internet Day, an awareness campaign celebrated in about 130 countries. The event calls on the world’s citizens to share respect online, and work to teach children and youth about using the internet in a safe and responsible way. At any age, a person online from the privacy of their home is also online to the world.

“The internet is a powerful tool that can lift, inspire and enable our young people to achieve great things, but this tool must be used with great respect,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Understanding the importance of online safety is something our children need to learn at an early age. We all play a role in ensuring British Columbians, young and old, can enjoy the time they spend online.”

Oak Bay Police Department shares that sentiment of safety, says Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties.

“We’re seeing dramatic increases in Canada in the number of crimes committed online. These include frauds, extortions, threats, and bullying,” said Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties. “These investigations require a great deal of time and resources. It used to be that a youth might be bullied by a neighbouring kid on the way to school. That took us about half an hour to address. Now the suspect might live on the other side of the world and use a computer not associated to him. You can imagine the challenges we face in dealing with that.”

The Office of the Chief Information Officer offers British Columbians numerous resources to help families stay safe while surfing the internet and using connected devices. For tips on social media best practices, links to educational resources and advice on promoting child and youth online safety, visit gov.bc.ca/informationsecurityawareness.

RELATED: 4 in 10 young Canadians have sent a sext, 6 in 10 have received one: report

Almost a quarter of Grade 4 students in Canada own their own cell phone. An estimated 30 per cent of students in grades 4 to 6 have a Facebook account. An estimated 37 per cent of Canadian students in grades 4 to 11 report being cyberbullied, while 78 per cent of students in grades 7 to 11 have come across racist or sexist content online. Cyberbullying is constantly evolving alongside changes to technology and social media. Cyberbullying has meant kids can now be bullied 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of where they are.

“Even letting your child play a seemingly harmless on-line game could introduce them to surprising pop-ups, access by strangers, and other risks. Parents should monitor their kids on-line activity closely,” Bernoties said.

British Columbians can participate in the global rally to promote a better internet by using the #SID2018 and #SaferInternetDay hashtags on social media.

“Anyone with any access to a computer or cell phone should be aware of the many ways criminals will try to contact them. Criminals will pretend to be someone you used to know, or they will try to befriend you, or possibly threaten you. Whatever works,” Bernoties said. “No one is immune from them as they target children, youth, adults and seniors.”

For tips on how to recognize and respond to instances of cyber bullying, the B.C. government’s www.erasebullying.ca website contains helpful advice for parents and youth alike.

RESOURCES

From cyberbullying to social networking, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues: saferinternetday.org

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection offers tips on understanding kids’ online interests, and what the risks are: protectkidsonline.ca

Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner offers online privacy tips, as well as a graphic novel designed to help youth better understand and navigate online privacy issues: priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/privacy-and-kids/


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Central Saanich, Tsawout taking part in reconciliation ceremony

Blanket event Monday to help foster mutual trust and respect

Retired Gordon Head teacher not ready to ride into the sunset

86-year-old keeping active with marathon paddling trek and week-long cycling tour

Parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

‘On the Cusp’ debuts at Victoria store front

Camosun Visual Arts students present new exhibit

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Taking the sting out of nourishing nettles

Linda Geggie For the Saanich News When you think of nettles you… Continue reading

UVic’s Gustavson goes carbon neutral for air travel

As a way to offset the frequent airplane travel that comes with… Continue reading

Central Saanich, Tsawout taking part in reconciliation ceremony

Blanket event Monday to help foster mutual trust and respect

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Ballet Victoria soirée fundraiser a prelude to final show of season

Company winds up its 15th season in the city with Peter Pan next month

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Most Read