Cybertip.ca Alerts are notifications sent out to inform the public of concerning technology trends and new resources designed to increase children’s personal safety. As Canada’s national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children, the information reported to Cybertip.ca enables us to identify the online risks children and youth are facing. Recognizing that it can be difficult to keep up with technology, signing up for these alerts provides you with important information to help keep your family safe while using the various popular platforms on the Internet.
Enter your email address below to receive Cybertip.ca Alerts. Once you select “Submit”, an email will be sent to the email address entered below. Please access the link displayed within the email to complete the sign-up process.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection wants to make parents aware of some child safety considerations around the game app Pokémon Go. This app uses the device’s GPS and camera to find virtual Pokémon characters everywhere the user goes. The augmented reality game also lets players set lures (shows up as confetti at a Pokéstop) at a given location to attract Pokémon and other users in the area. While many players are adults, the game is also drawing in a new generation of children.
Here are some things to consider to reduce any potential child personal safety risks:
Remind children that if they feel uncomfortable while playing the game, to trust their instincts and leave the situation or stop playing the game. If something goes wrong, or seems weird, including if they make a mistake and do something they know they aren’t supposed to do, reinforce that you will always help them. See more on discussions parents can have with children/youth about staying safe online.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection wants to make parents and youth aware of the risks concerning online requests involving prospective job opportunities. Cybertip.ca has been contacted a few times in the last month by individuals who believe their legitimate business name was being used to lure youth for the purposes of exploitation. These individuals are contacting teens through social media, portraying themselves as associated with a legitimate business that is offering job opportunities such as modelling. Cybertip.ca is also aware of situations where youth have responded to online postings related to employment and during the additional communication with the prospective employer, sexual requests are made to youth.
Cybertip.ca strongly encourages parents and teens to take the necessary steps to verify the legitimacy around any prospective online job opportunities. Talk to youth about the importance of:
For more information on discussions you can have with your teen related to identifying situations involving online exploitation, visit https://www.cybertip.ca/pdfs/C3P_SafetySheet_OnlineLuring_en.pdf.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, through its Cybertip.ca program, wants to inform the public about a new tactic being used by those extorting youth online for money and/or sexual images/videos. Cybertip.ca has received numerous reports over the last year relating to sextortion, which involves offenders secretly recording teenagers exposing themselves on live streaming video, recording the acts and then using the recording to threaten distribution unless the teen pays money. Around this same issue, there is a new tactic surfacing that involves the youth’s peer group. Threats are now being extended to other teenagers within the same social peer group. Friends are being shown the sexual image/video of their peer and being told that if they don’t share a sexual image of themselves, that the offender will distribute the already recorded sexual video/image of their friend. This tactic appears to be used to expand the number of teens being extorted for money which the tipline has seen range from $200 – $1,000.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is strongly encouraging parents to have a regular conversation with their teens around online safety. Parents should openly discuss the importance of their children coming forward if they or their peers are facing concerning online situations. They should also stress why it is critical to never comply with threats, as this only makes the situation worse. It is also important to discuss the risks associated to live streaming and agreeing to do something sexual online. We strongly encourage parents to take the time and learn about ways to increase teen’s safety online by visiting https://cybertip.ca/youth_internet_safety.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is warning parents about an increasing and serious trend involving Canadian youth being extorted for money. In the last few weeks, Cybertip.ca, Canada’s national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children, has seen a concerning rise in teenagers reporting issues surrounding video communication with adults posing as teenagers. On platforms that allow users to communicate by video, offenders are secretly recording teenagers exposing themselves and then threatening to share the sexual content if they don’t pay money (often hundreds of dollars) to the individual.
While many teens understand the dangers associated with recording and sharing sexual images and videos, they may not be as aware of the risks associated with live video feeds. With relative ease over live streaming, anyone can capture a still image or video of a person sexually exposing themselves – all without the other person’s knowledge.
Parents need to have regular, open dialogue with their teen around this topic encouraging the teen to seek parental support in situations like this. It is also important to talk to teens about never complying with threats online, since in most cases this will only make matters worse. We strongly encourage parents to take the time and learn more about ways to increase your teen’s safety online by visiting www.needhelpnow.ca and the Internet Safety section of the Cybertip.ca website.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is warning the public about an anonymous question and answer site called Ask.fm that is presently trending with Canadian youth. Recent reports made by the public to the Canadian Centre’s Cybertip.ca program (Canada’s national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children) has raised significant concerns about tween’s and teen’s exposure to and/or involvement in sexually explicit commentary, cyberbullying, threats, and harassing activities on this very popular site.
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