A nationwide report is calling on parents, teachers and policy makers to monitor more, survey less, young Canadians in meeting the challenges of growing up in the digital age.
The report, based on a one-year study in 2012 and a national survey of interviews with children and teens, parents and teachers was released in January 2015 by MediaSmarts
“When we brought together all of the research from our third phase of the Young Canadians in a Wired World study, the call to action for adults was very clear,” says Jane Tallim, Co-Executive Director, MediaSmarts.
“If we want resilient kids we need to understand what young people’s experiences are online, listen to their concerns, and intervene with their best interests in mind,” said Tallim in a press release.
The report offers recommendations for a wide range of issues young people encounter online, including sexting, excessive Internet use, cyberbullying and privacy risks. It also includes an analysis of students’ top 50 favourite websites and profiles of students’ online activities organized by grade.
According to the report, the way forward is to create an empathetic online culture. Fostering empathy and encouraging students to treat each other with kindness and respect will promote positive online behaviour, reveals the report.
Surveillance, according to the report, can create more risk for youth. Kids understand the safety messages they have been taught, what they now need from adults is involvement and mentorship.
A group calling itself the Middle East Cyber Army claiming to have connections with Islamic extremists left its calling card on the homepage of the Terrasse-Vaudreuil’s website in Île-Perrot this week, but it was just one of many hit-and-miss hacks without teeth.
The message left on the website’s home page said the group works for Allah, and that Islam “always will dominate.”
It is highly doubted the hack was anything more than the result of a random search for web servers with lower security requirements.
It was probably a search on a search engine, that came up with a specific version of a web server or specific code inside someone’s website. Once that happens the group or person could have launched a script and tried to compromise “hundreds of thousands” of websites in one swoop.
“They did a search, saw all these vulnerable websites, and thought ‘let’s go deface everybody and try to get our name out there,’ ” said Terry Cutler, who founded Montreal-based IT security firm Digital Locksmiths.
It’s a problem, he said, that plagues small businesses and municipalities alike: thinking they’re too small to be the target of an attack, he told the Montreal Gazette.
“It’s what we hear 99 percent of the time,” he said.
“Even if Terrasse-Vaudreuil wasn’t targeted specifically, it can still look bad to the public.”
See more of Terry Cutler’s opinion on CTV News
See more of Terry Cutler’s opinion on CBC news
See more of Terry Cutler’s opinion on Global News Montreal