Keeping Kids (and adults) Safer Online

In our house screen time has its limits. The kids typically aren’t watching TV or playing video games during the school week unless it’s a special occasion.

But the computer/iPod screen can be a harder one to regulate even when we’re on the road.

airport bros

Whether it’s doing an assignment with schoolmates over Facetime, searching for homework information or even listening to music, chances are there are more than one computer screen glowing at my house during the peak times.

We aren’t alone either. According to recent statistics:

* Canadians send on average 254 million text messages a day

* More than 19 million (more than half of the population!) are logging on to Facebook at least once a month and 14 million check it daily

And when you consider the recent onslaught of devastating stories about cyber bullying, online child exploitation and teenage mistakes that have come back to hurt young adults, the need for all of us to be more educated is clear.

And then news today that Facebook is allowing adult users more access to the content shared by other users who are under 18.

At We Day I heard about the steps that TELUS is taking in the opposite direction.

The company recently launched TELUS WISE (Wise Internet and Smartphone Education) program. The initiative is TELUS’s effort to offer all Canadians (not just their customers!) free seminars and online resources to help families better protect themselves online.

Telus Owls

More info so you can better take your kids (or parents!) under wing.

 

And it’s not just about the kids.

Whether it’s cyber-bullying or identity theft or financial fraud, the issues touched on can affect all of us at any age and can make senior citizens particularly vulnerable.

The program is offered in two parts.

TELUS WISE  is aimed squarely at adults and TELUS WISE Footprint is directed to youth. Each program is delivered in a language, concept and tone best best suited for its audience.

TELUS WISE Footprint, for example, shares topics related to predators and cyber-bullying through easy reading comic-strips and offers interactive challenges that students can do to earn funds for their school’s digital citizenship and anti- cyberbullying programs.

You can find all the information you need to start talking to your kids about their online use on the TelusWISE Footprint site but here are a few tips  you can start with when talking to your kids about the internet:

1. Treat your password like your toothbrush: Don’t share it with anyone and change it often.

2. Don’t post or say anything online that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see.

3. Don’t share stuff that makes other people look bad.

4. Think carefully about how you want people to see you before you pick a name, profile picture or avatar

5.  Never share personal information (like where you live) online with strangers.

Note: This post was not sponsored in any way.  I attended WeDay as a guest of Telus without any obligation to do this or any other post. All opinions, as always, are my own.

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