Reduce cyberattacks, talk to children about safe internet use: Crime Stoppers

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Canada

Strong unique passwords and avoiding email scams are common ways to stay safe from cyberattacks, but Crime Stoppers is encouraging parents to talk to their children about staying safe on the internet for the month of October.

Jesse Miller, spokesperson with Mediated Reality, a Vancouver-based technology and social media education company, said it is important for children to understand who they can trust and talk to when the have concerns about their online experiences.

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“As children are actively using a wide variety of internet tools, a consideration for parents and caregivers is to understand how the evolution of the technology that connects us also creates complex dynamics of how we teach children about the risks associated to online communications,” said Miller in a media statement.

“While reducing risks should be a priority, over the past decade we have learned that it is equally important to minimize the harm that children experience from online threats.”

Parents, suggested Miller, should talk to children about their online experiences and have “open dialogues” rather than relying on technology gadgets and online filters to prevent risks.

He added that adults need to lead with good social media and technology habits at home and learn to support, not shaming, their children when they reach out  with questions or problems.

Anonymous tips about cyberbullying or other cybercrimes can be reported through the Crime Stoppers’ app, calling 1-855-448-8477 or online at solvecrime.ca.

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