Keeping Kids Safe Online
A message from Victoria International Ballet Academy
Written by Mrs. Thalassinos, mother of two young ballerinas
Internet – The door that never locks:
The web can be a wonderful place once we understand the dangers involved. We use it in different ways to educate our ballet students. Children can see ballet dancers in all parts of the world and freely communicate with them, exchange pictures and videos. Foreign and non-local students audition for our programs online, avoiding expensive and time consuming traveling. However, we should always remember that while the internet is like an open door to a world of great information, communication and entertainment, it can also be a direct passage to danger.
With the summer here, chances are our children will have more leisure time which they may choose to spend online.
Your children and the Internet:
With the advancement of technology, there has been a drastic increase in the number of online activities your child can engage in:
– Online gaming
– Chat rooms
– Instant Messaging (IM)
– Search engines (e.g. Google, Bing)
– Social networking websites (e.g. Facebook, Instagram)
– Peer to Peer (P2P) and Bit Torrent
– Online video sharing sites (e.g. YouTube)
– Cell phone and texting
Here are only some of the potential risks associated with the most popular activities:
|Social Networking sites||
|Cell Phone and Texting||
There are definitely common themes with regards to these potential risks:
- Yes, it is true, anything that has ever been posted on the internet will permanently be there, even if you delete it, even deleting the entire account will not remove it.
- Many chat rooms, social networking sites, and online gaming sites are frequented by sexual offenders.
- Many of these sites have “location-based services”, which function as a GPS, so the location of your child is disclosed even if your child does not give out this information. This setting can be changed but these sites all make it difficult to change it.
- When your child is online, even if the webcam is turned off it can be “hacked”. That’s right; the hacker will be able to see your child!
There has been an increase in the number of tragedies due to unsafe Internet usage in Canada alone. For example, the suicides of Amanda Todd and Jenna Bowers-Bryanton. It is absolutely essential for us as parents to safeguard our children and make the Internet a lot safer for them.
We would never let our children go swimming if they did not know how to swim. Why would we let them roam the web without knowing what they could get into?
Parents should teach their children how to use the internet correctly. Education, arts, entertainment are all positive aspects of a good use of the Internet and other social networking sites.
To see how social media can work for your children, visit a few of the online tools of Victoria International Ballet Academy and the exam videos of our graduate student Anastasia Loskutov who received the opportunity to study at the Vaganova Academy thanks to her hard work and the great skills and training received at our Academy.
Ballet exam link: