Do You Know Where Your Kids Are Online?

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 12:52 p.m. February 11, 2014
Updated: 8:37 a.m. February 14, 2014

Parents are urged to take an active role in the content their children are posting and who they are communicating with on digital platforms.

A stick figure surrounded by thought bubbles with icons representing a computer, phone, video game controller and text messages
Children have many mediums to communicate whether it be through computers, Smartphones or video games
International Safer Internet Day | @TorontoPolice Child Exploitation Section

“If your child doesn’t want you to see what they are writing or who they are talking to on the Internet and other devices, it’s time you look into it,” said Detective-Constable Michele Bond of the Child Exploitation Section of the Sex Crimes Unit, at an International Safer Internet Day press conference at police headquarters on Feb. 11. “We are pleading with parents to wake up and become more involved in their children’s lives.”

Just last week, a 41-year-old man was charged with luring and assaulting a teenager who made contact with him on the internet.

“In response to emerging online risks and recent tragedies involving young people in Canada, it has become even more important to work together to reduce the incidence of adolescent sexual exploitation,” Bond said. “Within the last year, the Toronto Police Service has become inundated with investigations dealing with youths, not only taking explicit pictures of themselves, but also chatting with unknown individuals that they believe are as young as they are.”

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Detective-Constable Michele Bond speaks to the media about protecting children

“This is why on International Safer Internet Day, the Toronto Police Service is letting, not only Torontonians know, but people in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario and all across Canada know about the comprehensive internet safety resources and tools that are available online through the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. These tools are available to assist parents make sense of how they can help their children understand online risks and protect them in an ever-changing technological world.”

More information is available at  protectchildren.ca  including the  School and Family Approaches to Intervention and Prevention and  How Can Parents Keep Teens Safe from Online Sexual Exploitation?

“There is also another  guide about parenting tweens and teens in the digital world  that gives parents a good insight about what they need to know about self/peer exploitation, safety tips needed regarding their cell phones, online luring, the important discussions you need to have with your children about online contact with people and much more.”

An outline of a stick figure and a chart with tips on how to keep kids safe online including Increasing parent involvement, Increasing direct supervision and monitoring of online activities and phone calls, Speaking to parents of teen's best friend, Enforcing limits on internet and smartphone uses and Seeking Professional Help or counselling for your teen
Excerpt with tips on how parents can keep their kids safe online from How Can Parents Keep Teens Safe from Online Sexual Exploitation?
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