Both courses cover a wide range of important topics that youth face today in the online world. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 worries of most parents and how these topics are addressed in the Cyber Smart Canada Digital Youth courses.
Communication with Parents: This is probably the most important. It is imperative that you and your child discuss what they are doing and what they would like to do online. Children cannot always control what they see or read when online, they could see or read something that they wished that they hadn’t. The important thing is to let your children know they can come to you with anything without worrying that you are going to take their device away or delete all of their social media accounts. Often small, frequent chats are best to check in. Parents should be involved with setting up accounts to ensure proper privacy settings are in place, know passwords for said accounts and check in regularly.
Online Predators: It is important for children to not only know the signs of an online predator, but what characteristics an online predator looks for in victims, and also why some adults try to befriend or lure children.
Online Scams: Unfortunately, there are many different online scams aimed at youth. We educate the children on not only different scams out there, but also signs of a scam and how to protect themselves and use their critical thinking skills.
Online Reputation: Often youth post or share things on the web that they might think are funny or impressive to their peers, unfortunately everything that is posted online is permanent and can spread like wildfire. It is important for our students to understand that although these posts might seem harmless, it can negatively impact their reputation now, and in the future.
Cyberbullying: We discuss exactly what cyberbullying is and how it differs from conventional bullying, the impact this behaviour can have on not only the victim but the aggressor, what they can do to protect themselves if they find themselves being bullied, or what they can do to help if they see someone else become a victim of cyberbullying. Unfortunately, cyberbullying can have fatal consequences.
Safeguarding Personal Information: This topic is extremely important for many reasons. Not only can sharing personal information online put a child’s physical safety at risk, identity theft is a huge issue for today’s youth. Even something as simple as a photo of a child in a school uniform opens a lot of doors for an online predator.
Managing Screen Time: This is always a popular topic amongst parents. We discuss with our students not only why it’s important to cut back on screen time, but the health risks involved with too much screen time. We also discuss methods to help cut back (one method is a family docking station where all devices are plugged in to charge at night, this also keeps devices out of bedrooms). We encourage the students to come up with ideas so they are learning to monitor their screen time instead of parents always having to remind them.
Security: Viruses are a huge worry for all of us. Installing anti-malware and anti-spyware software is crucial, but it is also necessary to keep all our devices and software up to date as these updates are often for security purposes. We also discuss physical security of devices.
Body Image\Self Esteem: It’s important to provide the necessary information to build self- esteem through media literacy. In the Surviving the Digital Jungle course, we also discuss the ramifications of sharing intimate images.
Importance of Disconnecting: Although the web can be a great place to have fun and learn new information, too much of anything isn’t good. We remind our students how important it is for us to disconnect from devices. It gives our brains a rest, allows them to focus and learn new skills, and gives us time to really enjoy and engage with our friends and family just to name a few.
For more information on the Digital Superhero Training Course or the Surviving the Digital Jungle course provided through Safety Tree, please contact us today at 226-791-0579 or online at www.safetytreecanada.com. After having their child attend the course, we further support each family with access to Cyber Smart Canada’s Safe and Sane Parent Portal, a cyber safety resource for parents.