Williams Lake RCMP and the Columneetza Parent Advisory Committee are bringing a social-media expert to Williams Lake this week.
Jesse Miller will speak to parents and youth about the use of the Internet at a public information session at the Columneetza gymnasium Tuesday, May 15 at 7 p.m.
The event is hosted by the Columneetza PAC,, which is encouraging the community to attend to learn about this ever changing topic.
British Columbians increasingly have easy access to web-based and mobile technologies providing a plethora of opportunities to engage in everything from social interactions, through research, learning and gaming, to shopping and gambling online. With current research indicating that children as young as two years old are beginning to access apps and the Internet regularly, it is essential to communicate the message that “everyday is Internet safety day,” to encourage a culture of safe Internet use.
iSMART is a program that has been designed and intended to help the RCMP’s effort to help prevent online victimization of children and youth by providing the information and tools necessary to engage smartly online.
Topics discussed at Miller’s presentation include:
• Internet basics can be as straightforward as pushing buttons or clicking a mouse. Understanding how youth use the Internet, however, can be an overwhelming task, especially for adults who don’t spend much time online.
• Encouraging young people to act safely and respectfully toward themselves and others.
• What is cyber bulling?
• Understanding the law
Some online snares to be aware of and how to handle them:
• Games — children communicate verbally and in writing while online gaming. Understand how these tools work before you connect a gaming console to the Internet and check in with your children regularly about the games they’re playing online. Create a gaming agreement.
• Online gambling — most websites prohibit users under the age of 18 or 19 from participating in online gambling; however, e-casinos, card games, live bets and poker sites are growing in popularity with tweens and teens. Educate your children about the risks (addiction, debt, fraud) attached to online gambling.
• Online shopping — talk to your children about the risks of providing personal banking and credit card information when using online services such as PayPal, eBay and Craigslist. Encourage your children to check for security features, such as a security lock near the bottom of the web page, to ensure that it’s safe to provide personal banking and credit card information. Secure sites also help rule out phishing scams (attempts to get sensitive information by disguising as a trustworthy source).
On May 16, 2012, the Columneetza Senior Secondary school will host workshops for all their students to be more informed and aware of the challenges that come with social media.
For more information check out A Parents’ Guide to Facebook. To report something, visit www.cybertip.ca, a service provided by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. Cybertip.ca receives and analyzes tips from the public.