Social Media Safety

Safely Surfing The Internet

With instant access through smartphones, computers and tablets, the internet has become a primary communication tool. There are many risks and security issues involved when using the internet.

Social Networking Safety Starts With You

Protect Your Children

  • Communicate with your child and establish ground rules on the use of the internet
  • Try to become more computer literate and internet savvy yourself

  • Learn about what your child is doing on the internet - know the websites they are visiting by regularly searching the internet “history” on every computer in your home

  • Know what type of emails, and messages your child is sending and the chat rooms they visit. Chat rooms are cruising grounds for predators

  • Consider speaking with the parents of other children your child has visited

  • Check out parental controls available on your online service to block objectionable material

  • Keep computer usage as a family activity by putting the computer in a family room or “public” area in your house rather than in your child’s bedroom

  • Ensure your child does not give out personal information that could identify them, including name, age, address, school they attend or teachers’ names, and parents’ names. Instead use a “code” or screen name that does not say much about you or includes a sexual reference as this may attract undesired attention from predatory people

  • Monitor your environment if using a webcam. Most webcam transmissions give clues to your identity, like showing things on a desk or personal photos that make you vulnerable

  • Make sure your child knows to only use a webcam or digital camera with your direct supervision. Streamed webcam video can be uploaded, copied, and may never go away

  • Tell your children to NEVER agree to meet someone they’ve met online

  • Never interact with people on the internet who are acting weird, taking risks, or are being inappropriate. Interacting with these people only encourages them and may endanger others

  • Monitor your credit card bills for unusual items

Social Media Safety Tips

  • Create a computer password that is hard to guess and remember to change it often
  • Periodically check your privacy setting on social media accounts

  • Install a firewall and set your browser to say NO to “cookies”

  • Download files only from people or sites you know and trust

  • Always use caution when online – remember that people create fake profiles may not be who they say they are online

  • Never share explicit images of yourself through texting, emails, posts, etc. regardless of the reason. The filming and recording of sexual acts between persons under the age of 18 years of age is considered child pornography under the Criminal Code. The streaming, uploading or recording constitute making and/or the distribution of child pornography

  • Never post offensive or illegal material. You could be criminally or civilly liable for the content on your blog or social media posts

  • Always remember that whatever you do online is recorded and may be shared by others

  • Talk to someone you trust if you feel uncomfortable, threatened or upset about anything online - do not wait to tell

  • Report any harassment or inappropriate messages to your online service and to the Police

What About Cyberbullying?

  • Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that includes cruel acts intended to intimidate, embarrass, threaten or harass the targeted victims by sending or posting harmful material

  • Cyberbullying can take many forms, including harassing and threatening emails, instant messaging, and text messages or posting these messages in chat rooms, on “bash boards” and on other social networking sites

  • Cyberbullying can be particularly destructive because it can spread to so many people worldwide, instantaneously, anonymously or through impersonation

  • Cyberbullying may cause victims to feel helpless, which in turn can lead to emotional problems, violence, and/or thoughts of hurting themselves

What Should You Do If You Meet A Cyber Bully?

  • Don’t reply to abusive messages or postings

  • Keep a detailed record of any cyberbullying incident that you have been a target of or you have witnessed regardless of whether you report it

  • Keeping a log, will help investigators should a problem develop

  • Save copies of messages, and/or photos for the Police, the internet service provider or the cell phone company. This material may be required in order to trace the cyberbully

  • If you receive a rude image or text about someone else, do not forward it

  • You could be assisting a bully or breaking the law. You have the right NOT to be harassed and bullied online. Make sure that you tell someone


To report a crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at: 1-800-222-8477(TIPS), online at or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637)

In an emergency, call 9-1-1

To report a crime to the Toronto Police that is not an emergency, call 416-808-2222

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