Be socially responsible
- Treat online life like regular life; remember your values and beliefs.
- Develop healthy friendships and review connections when adding friends to social media sites.
- It’s OKAY to say NO to BECOMING ONLINE FRIENDS!
- When communicating with someone new online, ask yourself,
Would I share this much offline?
- Manage your online identity and reputation
- pictures – Who needs them?
- videos – Who is watching?
- comments – Who is reading?
- status – Do people really care?
- Speak up and do the right thing. If you see something you don’t agree with, like cyberbullying, harassment or threats, tell a trusted adult to guide you through the process of getting advice or help.
What is cyberbullying anyway?
is when a child or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. (Source: External link, opens in a new windowstopcyberbullying.org)
Pitfalls and benefits of your online activities.
The Internet has evolved into a communication tool that we use constantly. We learn and grow as individuals by using the Internet to understand the world around us, explore interests and research information. The social part of the Internet has allowed youth to form online identities beyond homes and classrooms, changing how they can be viewed and contacted. Because of all this, youth need to have conversations about their beliefs around using the Internet as a learning tool and as a form of entertainment.
Think about the negative and positive aspects of Internet use, using the following topics as a guide:
- Social Responsibility - Do I behave online as I would offline?
- Educational Uses - Am I using the Internet to better my education?
- Forms of Communication - Do I communicate in an appropriate way online?
- Consequences and Crime - Do I fully understand that my actions online can have offline consequences?
- Building Awareness - Do I use social media and the Internet to raise awareness around issues that youth care about?
- Privacy - Check and adjust privacy settings regularly to limit who can see and post on your profile(s), keeping in mind that privacy online is only as secure as the information you share. If you don’t want the content to be in the hands of others, don’t post it.
- Think Before You Post - Keeping personal information private can be a difficult task. Names, birth dates, ages, phone numbers, home addresses, birth places, maiden names, social insurance numbers, school names and sports teams can complete a puzzle of personal information when posted and shared online. As a result, your identity, whereabouts and activities can be pieced together by anyone.
- Savvy Shopping - Online shopping is convenient and fun, but be careful about providing personal banking information. When using online services such as PayPal, eBay and Craigslist, double check the web address to ensure you haven’t been directed to a phishing scam (a way of attempting to get sensitive information by disguising as a trustworthy source) and check for security features such as a security lock near the bottom of the web page. If you are meeting with someone through one of these sites to purchase or sell an item, let an adult know so you can discuss safety issues.
- No ID Required? - Online gambling sites such as e-casinos, card games, live bets and poker are popular among teens. These sites require you to be 18 or 19 years of age. Youth from 13 to 19 years of age can be held criminally responsible for activities related to online gambling. Keep in mind that online gambling can lead to a potential gambling problem and a number of issues that you might not have considered, such as addiction, potential debt for you and your family, and fraud. Again, always guard your personal information, such as credit card numbers and social insurance numbers when you’re online.
Understand laws around child pornography and luring.
The use of the Internet to attract or persuade anyone under the age of 18 to meet for sexual acts or to help arrange such a meeting is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada. There can also be serious consequences if you are in possession of sexually explicit images of someone under the age of 18.
The following Criminal Code Offenses affect youth should they use the Internet in a negative way:
- Child Pornography
- Criminal Harassment
- Luring a Child
- Uttering Threats
For more information, check out: