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The Internet is a global, decentralized network of computers taking advantage of common protocols permitting the transfer of information. No individual, company or government controls the Internet.

There are many risks and security issues involving the use of the Internet. Children and their parents should be most concerned about:
  • Viewing inappropriate material
  • Physical molestation
  • Harassment
  • Frauds and Scams

For more information on Cyberbullying, visit the Toronto Police Service Crime Prevention website at torontopolice.on.ca/crimeprevention


Protect Your Children

  • Communicate with your child and establish ground rules on their use of the Internet.
  • Become more computer literate and Internet savvy yourself.
  • Check out parental controls available on your online service.
  • Keep the computer in a “public” area in your house.
  • Monitor the amount of time your child spends on the Internet, and at what times of day.
  • Tell your children to never agree to meet someone they’ve met online; or give out personal information, including name, age, address, school they attend or teachers’ names, parents’ names, etc.
  • Do not allow your child to use a web cam, digital camera, or video camera without your very close supervision.
  • Regularly search the internet “history” on every computer with internet access in your home, and don’t be hesitant to question the parents of other children your child may visit.
  • Very closely monitor chat rooms your child may visit.
  • Remind your children to conduct themselves online the same as in the real world.

Social Networking Safety Tips

  • Predators will create fake profiles to lure potential victims! People online may not be who they say they are.
  • Whatever you post online stays online, and may be passed on.
  • DO NOT share explicit images of yourself to ANYONE, by ANY MEANS (texting, e-mails, posts, etc.) You don’t know where it will end up.
  • Use a screen name that does not say much about you.
  • Post only information that you are comfortable with others seeing and knowing about you.
  • Flirting with strangers online could have serious consequences.
  • Periodically check your privacy settings on your social media accounts.

What is Cyberbullying?

  • At present, there is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes cyber-bullying, although common elements can be found in many of the definitions examined.
  • Cyberbullying is a form of traditional bullying, that includes acts intended to intimidate embarrass, threaten or harass the targeted victims.
  • Cyberbullying takes on various forms, including using e-mails, instant messaging and text messages to send harassing and threatening messages or posting such messages in chat rooms, on “bash boards” and on other social networking websites.
  • Cyberbullying can be particularly destructive because it can spread to so many people worldwide, instantaneously, anonymously or through impersonation, and may remain online indefinitely.
  • Cyberbullying may cause victims to feel helpless, which in turn can lead to school violence and suicidal thoughts.

Keep a record

It’s a good idea to keep a detailed record of bullying incidents you’ve witnessed or been a target of. Even if you’re not ready to tell anyone about the bullying yet. A documented record will help you report it once you feel ready.

Resources




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For more information on Cyberbullying, visit the Toronto Police Service Crime Prevention website at torontopolice.on.ca/crimeprevention