OPP issues social media safety tips for parents

With children spending more time at home – and potentially online – the OPP has offered some social media and internet safety tips for parents.

Parents have taken a renewed interest in their children’s online activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and some issues have come to the attention of police.

“These issues are not new and have been concerning teachers, police and parents for quite some time,” a media release reads.

“The Orillia OPP have put together some tips and best practices you can employ with your children as education and prevention are our best tool in combating online criminal behavior and victimization.”

These tips include:

– Know their passwords to devices they use and social media accounts;

– Get them to show you their accounts;

– Educate yourself on the use of popular social media applications such as TikTok, Instagram, SnapChat or any other platform they use;

– Check their chats, social media, picture files and devices regularly;

– Encourage open discussion with your teen about what they see or may see online;

Talk to your teen about what a healthy relationship looks and feels like;

– Talk to your teen about boundaries and how someone online might try to push their boundaries;

– Talk to your kids about ‘red flags’ they may encounter online, some are not as obvious as others;

– Set limits on the use of devices e.g. no devices in the bedroom or set a curfew.

“Encourage an environment of open discussion, trust and education. Please keep in mind children are curious, have questions and may make mistakes. The best prevention is parental involvement,” the media release reads.

For more information on how to keep your children safe they’re while navigating the internet and social media, visit www.cybertip.ca, www.protectkidsonline.ca and www.thedoorthatsnotlocked.ca.


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