Online summit aims to arm parents against online child predators | #predators | #childpredators | #kids


A London expert who teaches parents how to protect their children from online predators is hosting a virtual summit this weekend, and she’s hoping to reach moms and dads around the world.

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A London expert who teaches parents how to protect their children from online predators is hosting a virtual summit this weekend, and she’s hoping to reach moms and dads around the world.

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“My biggest objective is that people will be practising digital supervision globally,” Charlene Doak-Gebauer said.

Attendees from as far away as Australia are taking part in the event that includes nine speakers, including Carol Todd, the mother of Amanda Todd. The British Columbia teen died by suicide in 2012 after being cyberbullied.

The summit comes at a critical time. According to Cybertip.ca, the online arm of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection charity, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more youths being exploited online.

During the past year, Cybertip.ca has seen a 106 per cent jump in reports to its tipline about child exploitation, which the group calls an “alarming increase.”

“Too many people think their children won’t be targeted by predation,” Doak-Gebauer said. “We need to digitize our parenting skills.” Those who take part in the summit will receive a certificate of completion.

Because it is a global network, the internet offers those who prey on children anonymity and a worldwide reach, Doak-Gebauer said.

“Carol Todd, at the summit, is going to talk more about that reality because her daughter was exploited by someone in another country,” she said.

Also a growing problem, Doak-Gebauer said, is child-on-child sexual exploitation.

“The problem is, violent porn is free online. A lot of children are learning sex education from porn,” she said.

Part of the solution, Doak-Gebauer said, is for parents to get over the idea they can’t teach themselves to be computer-literate.

“Our children are not geniuses because they can operate these devices. They’re so user-friendly. So, there’s no reason why parents can’t learn them and supervise them,” she said. “There’s too much ownership being given to our children over their own safety online.”

And even though the summit officially kicked off Friday, people can still watch it at their own convenience. The fee for participants is $50 and parents can get a late registration by emailing info@internetsensefirst.com or phoning 519-854-1249.

danbrown@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/DanatLFPress





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