Safer Internet Day #SID2015, Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 10:40 AM
Sex Crimes: 416-808-8500
Today is Safer Internet Day and the Toronto Police Service would like to remind parents, teachers and children of the need to remain vigilant online for those who may want to take advantage of our vulnerable youth. The Internet provides many excellent learning opportunities for children. It can also open a door for predators to exploit and abuse our children.
All devices and most sites or applications have a multitude of safety settings that can easily be turned on or off. Take a minute to review the setting options and determine if they are age appropriate. A geo location setting can be useful and actually required for some applications to work, however, it can also lead a predator right to your front door.
The Toronto Police Service has also has been working with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to distribute educational material on the issue of Self Peer Exploitation (also known as “Sexting”). A resource guide is available for schools, families and police officers to help with this complicated and difficult area of concern. Over the last year, this type of occurrence has increased significantly and we find the best way to battle its surge is through education.
“In the last few years, the issue of adolescent sexual victimization has become a growing concern for parents, school personnel, and law enforcement across Canada,” says Signy Arnason, Associate Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “We are very grateful for the support we receive from Toronto Police Service in helping to ensure that parents, educators and youth have access to critical resources for pre-empting some of the serious issues facing young people today.”
The impact that “sexting” has on our youth is evident. They are affected emotionally, socially and sometimes face criminal consequences. Parents/guardians need to talk to their children about healthy/unhealthy relationships, personal boundaries, their online activity and the risk of taking sexualized images.
On this day, where the emphasis is on Internet safety, we need to take an interest in our kids’ online world. It’s a world that is not native to some of us but our kids were born into it so we have to CATCH UP. What devices are they using? What sites/apps are they using? What type of settings can be activated and /or disabled to make their online world safer? Are they aware of password security? Who are they talking to online? Do they have some strategies to get out of uncomfortable situations online?
Our most fundamental responsibility as a society is to protect our children from those who would do them harm. Let’s all work together to keep our kids safe.
For more information or resources view the following links:
For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.
Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu, Corporate Communications, for Detective Constable Michele Bond