The Saint-Léonard RCMP is asking parents to be vigilant of their children's online activity following several complaints received in the Northwestern part of the province.
The RCMP is investigating these complaints and has determined that many of them share similarities. "We have received reports of an individual hosting an Instagram Live party which is accessible to the public," says Sgt. Jean-Pierre Bouchard with the Saint-Léonard RCMP. "Following the live stream, certain individuals are invited to a private chat where they are encouraged to engage in illegal activity, including the consumption of drugs or alcohol and enticed to perform sexual acts."
If you have been enticed or persuaded for sexual acts online, cyber-bullied, or a victim of online scams including those of sexual nature or fraud, contact your local police. If you have not fallen victim, report the incident to the social media platform directly.
Here are some important tips and links parents and youths can use to protect themselves online.
What youth can do to protect themselves:
- Don't give out too much personal information.
- If you are thinking about meeting up with someone you met online, ask for your parents' permission first, and make sure you have someone with you.
- Do tell someone, like a trusted parent or adult, if someone on the Internet is making you uncomfortable.
What parents can do to protect their children:
- Let your child know they can talk to you about anything and that you will always be there for them, no matter what.
- Learn how young people are using the Internet. You may have a lot of preconceived notions about 'social media' and the Internet that are inaccurate.
- Teach the young person about the dangers of posting personal information (location, school, full name, personal pictures) online.