The following section looks at the ways in which children and youth are targeted and marketed to online and the associated issues. It also provides strategies to help kids develop the media smarts they need to play – and not unwittingly pay – when they go online.
It’s important to understand the real risks young people face on the Internet, especially in regards to sexual exploitation. Who is at risk of sexual harm and why? What activities are markers for higher risk and how can we protect those youth who are most vulnerable. This section explores these topics.
To make students aware of the ways in which male violence is used and promoted in advertising.
MediaSmarts has partnered with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) to develop the Online Commerce Cyber Security Consumer Tip Sheet – the fourth in a series of tip sheets on cyber security issues.
The Internet provides marketers with many opportunities to elicit personal information from children. Kids love playing on the Web, and commercial sites for children are continually ranked as top online destinations.
Teens and preteens are at the heart of the social Internet interacting with others through chat, instant messaging, social networking sites, in virtual worlds and online multi-player games. It is inevitable that at an age where young people are starting to explore their sexuality offline, they will do so online in these interactive environments as well.
As adults, we want to foster resilience in young people, starting when they’re young. This can be done by teaching them how to handle harassing messages or requests that make them feel uncomfortable – on the Internet or in the schoolyard – and, as they get older, by teaching them how to spot and respond to emotional manipulation. The good news is that most teens are effectively handling online requests from strangers – the bigger challenge is helping them handle sexual advances from people they know.
There is little doubt that marketers love kids. With a collective spending power of over three billion dollars, and the potential to influence billions more in family spending,  marketers are keen to establish brand recognition and brand loyalty with children at increasingly younger ages.