Ontario Offers Tips For Safe Surfing
McGuinty Government Standing Up Against Bullying and Cyber-bullying Through Accepting Schools Act
Ontario is offering parents some helpful tips to help keep everyone safe online.
While the Internet can be a great resource for learning and socializing, children and their parents should be fully aware of its potential dangers, including privacy issues, online safety and cyber-bullying.
Here are some tips to help promote safe, responsible online behavior:
- Encourage your teen to let you know if they come across material or receive messages that make them feel uncomfortable or threatened
- Report threatening or inappropriate messages to the police and your Internet service provider
- Get to know which websites your teenager visits the most and visit them yourself to ensure there is no offensive or questionable content
- Make sure your teenager has adjusted the privacy settings on their social networking accounts so that only friends can see their photos, comments or any information they post
- Remind your teenager that anything posted on a social networking site can be seen by anyone -- parents, teachers or future bosses
- Remind your child to get permission from others, including friends, before posting pictures of them on social networking sites
- Remind them to be safe and responsible online: they should not use the Internet to spread gossip, bully or threaten others. When teens stay safe and treat each other respectfully online, they contribute to a more positive school climate.
Another way the Province is keeping children and youth safe is through the Accepting Schools Act, which, if passed, would take a strong stand against bullying in schools, including cyber-bullying.
Creating safer, more accepting schools is part of the McGuinty government's plan to support student success while securing a brighter future for all Ontarians.
- February 7 is Safer Internet Day, which promotes safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones.
- On November 30, 2011, the province introduced the Accepting Schools Act, which, if passed, will require all school boards to take preventative measures against bullying, issue tougher consequences for bullying, and support students who want to promote understanding and respect for all.
- Since 2004, the McGuinty government has invested over $285 million in its Safe Schools Strategy.
- Kids Help Phone is a toll-free, 24-hour, bilingual and completely anonymous phone counselling, web counselling and referral service for children and youth.
“My two boys won't know a world without online resources like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, so I share parents' concerns about online safety. It is our responsibility as parents to make sure our children use these resources safely and appropriately.”