Editorial 23

Editorial 23

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Many years ago the church would have labelled the Internet as evil – a tool of the devil. No doubt some religious groups still feel that way, and we don’t blame them.
The things you can access on the Internet are atrocious and disturbing beyond comprehension.
While the Internet makes our jobs so much easier, it has become a tool for countless individuals to spread their hate, lies and sickness over cyberspace.
While social media sites were designed for people to stay connected with family and friends, some use it to prey on others and their vulnerabilities.
But the Ministry of Justice wants you to know how to navigate the online risks to keep your family safe.
First, parents need to be aware of what to watch out for when their kids are on the Internet. For example, inappropriate material, sexual exploitation and bullying, as well as frauds and scams.
Instilling judgment and online etiquette in your kids can go a long way in keeping
the family safe.
Think twice before posting information and/or photographs. Once online, information is out of your control and cannot be retracted.
Talk to your children about the dangers of sharing excessive information. If advertising that a family is on holiday by writing it on the front door or living room window is not okay, why put that type of information online for the world to see?
Signing a child up to a site before they reach the user age outlined by the site is a violation of the Terms of Service. Lying about an age can result in your child receiving advertisements directed to an older audience.
Remind youth that cyberbullies feed on negativity. The best way to make cyberbullying stop is to ignore the online bullying environment and report it in the real world to school or authorities.
Parents shouldn’t be afraid to venture into social media. Take this on with your kids and learn together how to navigate the content safely. This will help you get to know what your kids are doing online.
Encourage online etiquette and instill best-time practices with youth. Establish break times and put away devices when opportunities for family time arise. Children can become obsessed with social media sites and rely on them for their daily fix.
Don’t make your passwords obvious . . . and change them frequently.
For more information, visit: http://www.bccpa.org/index.htm

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