That might be a silly question to ask you, a seasoned IT Professional, but it is a real question. Many of today's kids and their parents are not web aware. What is being "web aware"? Well educating yourself, your family, you kids about the dangers of the web is the first step. Canada is one of the most wired countries in the world. We were the first to connect all our schools and libraries to the Internet, and we’re second among OECD countries in broadband access. Government and the private sector are to be congratulated for making us world leaders. A recent Microsoft/Ipsos poll showed that children aged 10-14 with Internet access at home (roughly 94% of kids) include:
• 33 per cent of children age 10 to 14 spend 6-10 hours a week online while 26 per cent spend more than 10 hours a week online.
• 25 per cent of children would feel safe getting together with a person they have only met online and talked to for a long time online.
• 17 per cent of children say they have used the Internet in the middle of the night.
• 11 per cent have been asked by a stranger for personal information while online such as their full name, home address and phone number.
• One in 10 youth do not know all of the people on their friends/messaging list.
• Two in five 10 year olds always participate in instant messaging when online.
• 26% per cent of children age 10 to 14 have seen hateful messages
• 96 per cent of parents have spoken with their children about dangers to be aware of online.
If you listened to the CETS podcast, you heard us talk about someone named Paul Gillespie. Paul Gillespie is an internationally-renowned online safety expert and former Police Officer with the Toronto Police Force and was the person who sent the late night email to Bill Gates asking for help, which led to the development of CETS. Paul is on tour with Microsoft on the Take Back The Net Tour to promote the survey results and talk about how to protect your family on the web. Microsoft also has a BeWebAware Army of employees (including myself) trained in helping parents and children understand how to be web aware.
If you want help in getting your friends, family, community group "web aware" check out the following links, look for the Take Back The 'Net tour in a city near you or contact us and we'll find someone local to you to help deliver the BeWebAware training.
http://www.microsoft.com/canada/athome/security/onlinesafety/default.aspx - Take Back The 'Net Event Portal
http://www.microsoft.com/canada/athome/security/children/default.mspx - Security At Home
And there are also these great resources.....
www.cybertip.ca - the 911 for the Internet
www.safety.sympatico.msn.ca - resource for Internet safety
www.bewebaware.ca - fantastic resource for parents and educators about the Internet
www.kidproofcanada.com - provides proactive child safety programs for kids in communities across Canada
www.badguypatrol.ca – provides 5-10 year olds an interactive way to learn about online safety