As a police service, we are quite aware of the risks associated with online games, video chats, social media sites, apps and online images for children. Online luring, sextortion, and cyber bullying are among some of the biggest dangers for children and youth.

In this digital age, we can't shield children away from using the Internet, but we CAN talk to them and teach them ways to stay safe online.

It's important that your children know they can come to you if they see something online that makes them feel uncomfortable or upset. Also, that they know not to share their personal information (such as address, school name, etc.) with people online.

Children and youth should also be made aware that videos/video chats CAN be saved or screenshotted. The sharing of an intimate image of anyone under 18 is illegal regardless of whether consent was provided or not.

For a lot of children and young people today, their online personalities, social interactions, and activities are just as important as their lives in the physical world.

With so much time spent online, we want to make sure our youth don't fall victim to online harm. Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in supporting children and teens to use technology responsibly.

 Reminders for children and youth
  • Don't post any personal information online, like your home address, email address or mobile number.
  • Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. Once it's out there, anyone can download or screenshot it.
  • Keep your privacy settings as high as possible.
  • Remember not everyone online is who they say they are.
  • Despite safety features, young ones can still be exposed to inappropriate content online if not carefully monitored.

It's good to remind your child/youth that opponents online are not necessarily who they say they are and not to believe everything a person tells them online. Never share personal information, such as passwords, school name, etc. or photos with people they play games against.

Explain if someone in a game wants them to move to video chatting sites or other chat platforms they need to come to you for permission first.

Advise your child/youth that if a conversation or situation online makes them feel uncomfortable, they should log off, and talk to a safe adult about what happened.

This information was gathered from Protect Kids Online. Learn more.