Protecting children online
Our children are immersed in a digital environment from a young age and need help understanding potentially risky situations and navigating an ever-evolving online world.
The following information and resources are helpful when caregivers or children have questions around issues including safe social media, applications and Internet activity.
Online safety resources for parents
Thorn for Parents is a resource available to help caregivers understand challenges children might face at a specific age. The site offers tips to start conversations and helps with understanding various digital apps.
Cybertip is Canada's tip line for reporting online sexual exploitation of children. Police receive these tips and follow-up with children at risk of online sexual exploitation.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCECC) offers help via a 24-hour hotline.
Need Help Now is a youth forum offering support and resources; including learning about recent sextortion tactics and dealing with peers.
Protecting children on the Internet
If you have kids, keep them safe online with these tips:
- Maintain open lines of communication between parents and children.
- Have your child teach you about apps, games, or Internet sites they are using. Make it a family activity.
- Make sure they know to never, under any circumstances, reveal personal information over the Internet, whether in chat rooms, surveys or on websites. They must never agree to meet a person they have met on the Internet.
- If they see or read content online that upsets them, ensure they report it to an adult immediately.
- Keep your computer in a high-traffic area of the home.
- Learn how to restrict access to the Internet when there is no supervision available.
- Learn what family-friendly or parental controls exist within your Internet service provider.
- Use protective software including anti-virus and firewall protection. Research the use of parental monitoring software in certain circumstances.
Reporting online child abuse
We are all responsible to ensure our children in the community are safe. Report suspected abuse and be a part of the solution.
Online sexual exploitation of children must be immediately reported to the Calgary Police Service. Call 9-1-1 for any crimes in progress or life exigent circumstances or 403-266-1234 for the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line. You may also report crimes anonymously to Cybertip.ca. Cybertip will then forward the information to the local policing agency to investigate.