For Immediate Release
February 8, 2011
Parents and teachers encouraged to learn more about what lies behind the unlocked door
WINNIPEG, MB. -- The Canadian Centre for Child Protection reminds parents, educators and everyone else with children in their lives why it's important to educate themselves on how to keep kids safe online. The days where children spend the majority of their free time outdoors are behind us. Today's reality is that kids are spending a great deal of their time online.
According to recent statistics published by the Pew Research Centre, 93% of teens aged 12-17 are now on the Internet, 89% of them go online from home and 77% of them go online from school. Since most children's online activity happens at home or at school, parents and teachers are positioned to teach kids about safer Internet practices.
"Internet use has become universal within schools and the homes of Canadian families," said Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. "Our government continues to help fight child exploitation of all kinds, which must include strengthening our efforts together as the risks continue to evolve. I encourage parents to take a responsible interest in their childrens' online activities to ensure they're aware of the risks posed by online activities."
While the Internet opens doors leading to a world of great information, communication and entertainment, it can also be a direct path to danger for children. "The online world is their primary world for communicating and self-expression, and regardless of their age, no child is immune to online dangers," said Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
"Parents and educators play a vital role in helping keep kids safe when they are using the Internet. Learning and keeping informed about the latest technology and the online places that children visit is as important as keeping watch as they play outside," said Det. Sgt. Kim Scanlan, with the Toronto Police Services Child Exploitation Unit.
Safer Internet Day marks the beginning of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection's annual initiative to help parents and teachers instill safer Internet practices among children in Canada. Recognizing that many parents are overwhelmed trying to keep their kids safe in today's world of technology, the Canadian Centre has created The Door That's Not Locked (thedoorthatsnotlocked.ca) -- a comprehensive Internet safety website. It features age-specific information on what kids are doing online, the risks associated with those activities, and age-appropriate tips and strategies to help keep kids safe.
The Door that's Not Locked is designed to be a one-stop-shop for parents and educators. The website provides Canadians with easy-to-access material, including information on the newest online trends and nearly 20 new downloadable information sheets on topics such as: Healthy and Unhealthy Friendships and Internet Safety, Personal Boundaries, How to Monitor your Child's Online Activities, The Vulnerability of Adolescents, and age-specific Internet Safety Tool Sheets for Parents.
"Every day children enter through the unlocked door that is the Internet, unequipped to deal with what they may find on the other side. Too often we hear stories about how a child has been lured by an online predator or who has made rash decisions they've come to regret. These stories are preventable," said McDonald. "As adults, we all have a responsibility to protect children. I encourage anyone who has a child in their life to visit The Door that's Not Locked."
The Door that's Not Locked was made possible through the support of the Government of Canada, Telus, Bell, Shaw and Honeywell. The support of these partners also allows the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to distribute nearly half a million The Door that's Not Locked Internet Safety brochures to schools and parents across Canada.
If you are a member of the media and would like to arrange an interview with one of our spokespeople please contact our communications team:
Communications, Canadian Centre for Child Protection