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Information bulletin: protecting children from online predators

With schools closed due to COVID-19, children are spending a lot more time online, possibly unsupervised. Although convenient for learning and socializing, Vancouver Police want parents to be mindful of who could be on the other side of the screen. Police also want parents to be aware that social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Tik-Tok, and Instagram, can be used by online predators to solicit and share sexual photos and videos. These images may be traded, are easily distributed, and do not disappear.

Here are some tips to help keep your child safe while they are online:

  • Monitor your child’s use of devices and view their messaging and logs.
  • Know your child’s login information, including email addresses, usernames, and passwords.
  • Be aware of online games that require multi-player capacity to interact with your children.
  • Consider software that controls access to sites, apps, and programs, and sets time limits on device usage.
  • Consider only permitting your child to access the internet, play games or use social media in shared family locations, such as the living room and kitchen.

If you see something that concerns you, we encourage parents to call 9-1-1 or report it to cybertip.ca. Additional reporting options and information for parents can be found at protectchildren.ca.