With our world becoming increasingly digital, companies touting 5G technology as the next biggest thing, and what feels like a new social media platform every few months – technology and our use of it grows exponentially every year.
Oh, and there is this whole pandemic situation that’s essentially put everyone online all day, every day.
With all this technology, it can feel like an impossible task to know how to keep your kids safe online. Cyberbullying, internet luring, sexting, social media addiction, and all sorts of scams lie in wait for unsuspecting and innocent children every day. For parents, it can feel overwhelming.
To help, Dad Central has curated the following information and resources. We encourage you to educate yourself and take the necessary steps to keep you and your family safe.
We offered a free event called Protecting Your Kids in a Digital World on November 24th. Featuring expert panelists J.LeVar Bryan Sr. of The Dad’s List, social networking safety expert and TEDx Speaker Paul Davis, and MediaSmarts’ media education specialist Marc Alexandre Ladouceur, Protecting Your Kids in a Digital World provides you with the information, resources, and the skills needed to take immediate action.
If you are interested in viewing a replay of the event, more information is available here or you can access the replay by registering directly on the blog here.
Online Safety Resources for Parents and Kids
1. Canadian Centre for Child Protection: https://www.protectchildren.ca/en/
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is dedicated to the safety of all children and operates two specific resources to help with online safety.
The first is ProtectKidsOnline.ca – a one-stop website where parents/guardians of kids, tweens, and teens can get free cyber safety information from internet safety and childhood education professionals.
ProtectKidsOnline.ca is intended to educate and empower parents by providing prevention tips to help reduce their child’s risk of online exploitation and points to help them get the conversation started about online safety with their kids, no matter what their age is.
Another one is Cybertip.ca – Canada’s tipline for reporting the sexual abuse and exploitation of children on the internet.
Cybertip.ca and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection also offer education, prevention, and awareness material to help keep Canadians safe, distributing more than 1 million safety resources per year free-of-charge to families, schools, law enforcement, child welfare, industry, and other stakeholders.
2. MediaSmarts – Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy: https://mediasmarts.ca/
MediaSmarts has been developing digital and media literacy programs and resources for Canadian homes, schools and communities since 1996. Through their work they support adults with information and tools so they can help children and teens develop the critical thinking skills they need for interacting with the media they love.
They provide education, public awareness, and research and policy. With a dedicated section just for parents, they have valuable tip sheets, guides, a blog, workshops, tutorials and games to teach and support digital literacy.
3. NetSmartz – a product of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC): https://www.missingkids.org/NetSmartz
NetSmartz is NCMEC’s online safety education program. It provides age-appropriate videos and activities to help teach children be safer online. The main goal of these resources is to help children become more aware of potential online risks. They also focus on empowering kids with tools and knowledge to make safer choices on- and offline.
This resource is very kid friendly, and may be a great way to engage kids while also teaching them about online safety.
4. National Cybersecurity Alliance: Stay Safe Online program: https://staysafeonline.org
Dedicated to creating a safer interconnected world, the National Cybersecurity Alliance’s Stay Safe Online resource has tips and resources that help you learn how to protect yourself, your family and your devices.
It contains online safety basics, information on identity theft and fraud, resources to help you check privacy settings and online security checkups and tools, among many other important online safety information.
5. Paul Davis – Social Networking Safety Expert: https://www.facebook.com/pauldavistips/
Since 2016, Paul Davis has presented to over 620,000 students, 80,000 parents, the OPP, Department of National Defence, Canada Border Services and the Alberta RCMP about the critical safety steps parents, kids, and adults need to take. His Facebook page provides tips and resources to help parents reduce the overwhelm and take action to protect their children.
Paul was also a panelist for our online event, Protecting Your Kids in a Digital World, November 24th. If you’d like to hear him, along with other experts on the topic, then access the replay now.
6. Internet Safety For Kids article from Consumernotice.org: https://www.consumernotice.org/data-protection/internet-safety-for-kids
This is a comprehensive but digestible article that cites 24 research articles, and provides actionable advice for parents facing a variety of challenges related to keeping kids safe online.
Please note, Dad Central is not affiliated or partnered with any of the above organizations. Our goal is to provide information and resources to parents that we believe can support active, involved, and devoted caregiving.
Access the Event Replay