Keeping Your Children Safe
- Create a list of Internet house rules with your teens. You should include the kinds/types of sites that are off limits.
- Keep Internet-connected computers in an open area and out of your teens’ bedroom.
- Talk to them about their online friends and activities just as you would about their other activities.
- Know which chat rooms or message boards your teens visit, and whom they talk to.
- Encourage them to use monitored chat rooms.
- Talk to your teens about their Instant Messaging list and make sure they’re not talking to strangers.
- Insist that they tell you first if they want to meet an “online friend.” It is potentially dangerous for this meeting to take place unsupervised.
- Teach your teens never to give out personal information without your permission when using email, chat rooms or instant messaging, fillinf out registration forms and personal profiles, and entering online contests.
- Encourage your teens to come to you if they find messages that make them feel uncomfortable or threatened. (Stay calm. If you freak out they won’t turn to you for help when they need it)
- Talk to your teenagers about online pornography and direct them to good sites about health and sexuality.
- Insist they stay in public chat areas.
- Help protect them from spam. Tell your teens not to give out their email address online, not to respond to junk make and to use email filers.
- Be aware of the web sites that your teens frequent, and make sure the sites don’t contain personal photos and information or offensive content.
- Teach your kids responsible online behaviour. File-sharing and taking text, images or artwork may infringe on copyright laws.
- Talk to them about ethical behaviour. They should not be using the Internet to spread gossip, bully or threaten others.
- Make sure your teens check with you before making financial transactions online.
- Discuss gambling and its potential risks and remind your teens that it is illegal for them to gamble online.
- Ensure your computer is properly protected by using/installing up-to-date security patches, current anti-virus software and a firewall to protect it from intrusions (hackers).
- Always delete unknown email attachments without opening them. They can contain destructive viruses.
Signs your child might be at risk online
- Your child spends large amounts of time online, especially at night.
- Your child accesses pornography on the computer.
- Your child receives phone calls from unknown individuals.
- You child is making long distance calls to numbers you do not recognize.
- Your child receives mail/gifts/packages from someone you don’t know.
- You child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen when you enter.
- You child becomes withdrawn from the family.
- You child is using an online account belonging to someone else.
Reporting an Internet Crime
The Hamilton Police Service is committed to addressing computer crime. To that end, the Service has created a Technology Crime Unit to support front line investigation of computer and internet crime. The technology Crime Unit, one of the few in the province, is accessible to Police officers only.
If your child had received any threatening or inappropriate messages, or if you receive any messages that make you feel uncomfortable, make sure you tell an adult that you trust.
If the matter requires Police involvement, please contact the Hamilton Police Service at 905-546-4925
If you have information regarding computer crime please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS)
Internet Safety (168 KB)
Tip Sheet_-_internet_safety_parents (333 KB)
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