5 resources to help parents and educators keep kids safe online

February 9, 2021

Youth have been online more than ever due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. This has forced youth to learn, socialize and connect from within the confines of their home. And parents, overwhelmed by managing online school, work and other family responsibilities, have been left with very little time to focus on keeping up with online safety for their kids. 

One of the many negative consequences of the pandemic is that youth have become even more vulnerable to various online threats, including phishing, fraud, ID theft, bullying and exploitation. Increases in serious online incidents like these have been reported by law enforcement, child protective services and other youth support providers like Kids Help Phone.

Parents need tools to help their children navigate their online world in ways that allow them to leverage the opportunities available through this technology while staying safe. Safer Internet Day is an opportunity to double down on the message that there are many easy resources parents can use to help facilitate and promote online safety. 

As a STEM organization building digital literacy skills among Canadian youth, Actua is helping youth combat these threats by empowering them with the skills, awareness and confidence needed to critically assess online interactions, avert threats and become good digital citizens. 

Actua’s new Engage. Empower. Connect. (E2C) project seeks to build positive digital behaviours from the ground up to create a new cyber smart generation ready to embrace the challenges of the digital age. We do this by:

  • engaging youth in targeted asset-based programming;
  • empowering youth through digital skill development; and
  • creating positive online connections

 As part of this project, Actua is today releasing a Cyber Smart Framework to help educators and families understand the key concepts and ideas involved in staying safe online and connect it to curriculum kids are already learning in-school. We have also curated a library of online learning resources on online safety. 

For Safer Internet Day, we are reminding parents and teachers of our top 5 resources to keep kids safe online:

  1. Binary Tattoo:
    Free resources for parents and educators – includes workshops as well as reference materials, blogs and more on cyber safety and privacy topics. Includes free resource downloads and a “Family Device Contract” to help create boundaries at home.
  2. Media Smarts:
    Resources for youth, parents, and teachers that tackle topics including digital and media literacy, intellectual property and privacy, ethics and more. This is a national (Canada) initiative to increase media literacy across the country.
  3. Be Internet Awesome/Interland:
    An interactive world for students to navigate where they learn about issues like data privacy, security, online bullying, and staying safe online. Once they navigate through all the phases of the game, students earn a digital “Internet Awesome” certificate. The interactive takes approximately 1-1.5 hours to work through completely.
  4. Get Cybersafe Online
    Online hub for cyber safety from the Government of Canada. Includes articles, videos, and other online learning covering a broad range of topics connected to digital citizenship and cyber safety, for children and teens as well as adults.
  5. Microsoft Online Safety Tips
    Research and resources dealing with online bullying, safety and digital citizenship. Background information supports families with youth of all ages – includes videos, articles, and more multimedia.

To see our full list of curated resources visit Actua Academy