How mindful are you of your child’s Internet and smartphone activities?



According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 47 per cent of Canadian parents reported having a child victim of bullying in 2012. Pretty shocking, right? This number is increasing with the majority of North American children and youth accessing social media platforms every day. As parents we may hear what’s going on at our child’s school, but do we really know what’s going on in their cyber world?

Last year, when I announced, “If TELUS were to propose I would say yes”– I meant it and mean it even more now. One of TELUS’ recent initiatives is something I feel strongly about and want to bring to your attention as today is Safer Internet Day. TELUS launched TELUS WISE – a two-part program that is free for all Canadians, young and old, to develop safer habits online. TELUS WISE is a great program geared to informing adults and parents about the threats online; and TELUS WISE footprint is a complementary program but designed for children and youth. Both programs were developed in partnership with two accredited organizations, MediaSmarts and Bullying.org.


Here’s a breakdown of each program:


o In-person seminars

o Vast library of online educational resources and

o Personalized, one-on-one TELUS WISE sessions at more than 200 TELUS in-store Learning Centres across Canada 


o Secure, online portal

o Relatable comic-strip scenarios;

o Unique avatars for engaged learning; and

o interactive challenges


What I absolutely love about these programs is the in-person seminars on critical topics and safer practices. TELUS will actually come to you and do a seminar on online safety for groups of 10 or more. You can gather your parenting group, colleagues or friends and schedule a session at a local community centre or public space to learn how to protect yourself and your family members. And if you have kids in grades 7 or 8 you can also organize a TELUS WISE footprint seminar for your child’s school in their very own classroom. And want to know the best part? All of these sessions are completely free!


The more we share information about programs like TELUS WISE and TELUS WISE footprint and get ourselves educated, the more we can join together to tackle cyberbullying, and other important issues like identity theft and sexual exploitation.


I’m going to make it my mission this year to get my family better educated on online safety- especially prior to my kids reaching the age when they’re glued to their smartphones.



To schedule your group session you can e-mail: wise@telus.com and get super savvy about Internet and smartphone safety.



If you prefer a one-on-one session, you can book it at a local TELUS store around the GTA.
 

TELUS will be hosting a live web discussion and Q&A with our partner @MediaSmarts about measures we can take to keep our kids safer online.

MediaSmarts has recently revealed the latest findings on what Young Canadians in a Wired World are doing online, which will act as the basis for our discussion. You’ll also have an opportunity to ask the experts any questions you may have on this subject to find out what more you can be doing for you and your family to stay safe on the Internet.

In addition to joining us for this web chat, this TELUS WISE Top Ten is a great quick reference to be savvier online. I’ve included the tips below as well as all the details you’ll need to join us on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 at 1 p.m. ET for our live discussion and Q&A. Feel free to invite all your followers to join us too and follow the conversation on @TELUS #TELUSWISE




 




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