CIRA and MediaSmarts have partnered on a series of five tip sheets to educate Canadians about online security issues. The 5th tip sheet in the series, Socializing and Interacting Online, looks at negative issues that can come up when interacting with others through networked technologies including phishing scams and hoaxes, and strategies for dealing with them.

Cyber Security Consumer Tip Sheet: Socializing and Interacting Online

For most of us, the Internet has become an indispensable part of our social lives: we use it to keep up with old friends, keep in touch with our families and meet new people. Unfortunately, not all online interactions are as positive as these. This tip sheet will explain some of the issues we face when we socialize online and provide tips for dealing with them.

Teens use the Internet as much, and in similar ways, as adults. But they also often engage in risky behaviour such as downloading illegal copies of movies and music. Popular social networking sites, like Facebook, can also expose teens to a variety of security risks.

Children may be particularly at risk online because they’re not always aware of the risks associated with what they’re doing. For that reason, children need close supervision when using digital devices and also need to be taught basic cyber security skills as early as possible.

Many online threats are covered by existing civil and criminal law in Canada and other countries. In addition, many countries have specific legislation to deal with online crime. This section looks at Canadian and American laws that apply to cyber security.

Spam, online scams and frauds, identity theft and issues related to online purchases are a serious issue in the online world. Navigating the Web while avoiding these threats can be a challenging task.

Software threats are malicious pieces of computer code and applications that can damage your computer, as well as steal your personal or financial information. For this reason, these dangerous programs are often called malware (short for “malicious software.”)

What is intellectual property?: A novel? A film script? A joke? A cook book? A character in a TV show? A painting? The lyrics to a song? All of these are intellectual property.

This tutorial aims to teach students essential digital literacy skills through simulating their favourite online experiences.

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