With school out and Covid-19 limiting social interaction, Nunavut’s V Division RCMP is anticipating an increase in children using the internet.
While the police acknowledge that the internet can be a wonderful educational tool, they warn that it can also be used for nefarious purposes such as luring, exploiting and harming children and youth. With that in mind, the Mounties have issued the following advice for parents:
- Remind your child that images and videos can be saved or altered and used by others to embarrass or harm them in the future.
- Monitor your child’s online gaming activity and any messages they may be receiving. Online gaming platforms often have a private message option and some platforms, such as Roblox, have been identified as having sexual predators asking children to meet in person.
- Be aware that apps such as TikTok can lead to the sharing of inappropriate videos with people around the world.
- Monitor your child’s use of social media applications. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Kik and others are all used by predators to make contact with and share/request content from your child.
- Talk to your child about their social media applications and discuss:
-Who they are allowed to communicate with
-Who they are communicating with
-What applications they are using
-What they use these applications for
-When they are allowed to use the applications (Set limitations and time restraints)
- Ensure your child’s social media privacy and security settings are the most secure they can be.
- Know their passwords and use parental controls where available on the various applications.
- Encourage your child to talk with you about anything they experience on the internet or through texting that makes them uncomfortable.
- Ensure your child knows they will not be in trouble and your biggest priority is their safety.
- Encourage your child to use any video or live streaming applications in high traffic areas of your residence.
- Encourage your child not to friend adults on social media.
“If you see, read or hear anything sexual from an adult who is in contact with your child online or through texting, contact the Nunavut RCMP Detachment in your community or you can also report this to Cybertip.ca,” the police advise.