The New Westminster Police Department is reminding parents to help their children stay safe online.
The police department issued a press release April 8 noting it has received reports of children being contacted online by strangers.
With schools closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and many children taking advantage of technological tools such as live streaming and video chatting, police are reminding everyone of the importance of internet safety and encouraging parents and guardians to talk with their children about safe internet use.
“We want kids to be happy and safe during COVID-19. With schools closed, we know that parents and guardians are managing their child’s use of tech,” said Sgt. Jeff Scott in the release.
“While the internet can be a fun place to shop, play games and talk to friends, it can also be a place where people commit crimes. Now is the time to talk to your kids about the safety risks of sending photos and talking to strangers. Please tell your kids that if someone demands something or threatens them or wants to meet with them, to stop replying and tell a trusted adult immediately.”
There are many resources available for parents and guardians.
Police are suggesting a number of websites for parents, including:
Media Smarts: http://mediasmarts.ca
The Media Smarts website includes resources for parents and teachers around all kinds of digital and media literacy, including cyber security, cyberbullying, file sharing, cellphones and texting, digital health and much more.
Canadian Centre for Child Protection: https://protectchildren.ca
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is a national charity dedicated to the personal safety of children. Its goals are to reduce the sexual abuse and exploitation of children, to help in locating missing children and to prevent child victimization. It includes a section on online safety resources for parents, kids and youth.
This website belongs to Canada’s national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children. It contains internet safety resources for children, divided by age group (11 years and under, and 12 and older).
This website is designed to help teens stop the spread of sexual pictures or videos and includes resources on removing pictures and videos, dealing with peers, getting emotional support, information for parents and more.
Amanda Todd Legacy: https://www.amandatoddlegacy.org
The Amanda Todd Legacy is a non-profit society with a focus on prevention and awareness related to bullying, cyber abuse and internet safety.