Most of what we do online falls into one of three categories: Talk, Shop and Play. There are risks associated with all these activities that consumers need to be aware of so they can take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their computers.

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), in partnership with MediaSmarts wants to make sure you stay safe online. We have developed the following list of potential risks you may encounter during your online experience and suggested tools that may assist in lowering the level of risk.

Most Web surfing is done through browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. While these browsers are updated regularly, our use of the Web has evolved to the point where we now do many things online, such as shopping and banking. For that reason, there are a number of potential risks that come with using the Web.

Malware is a general term to describe destructive programs that can harm your computer or any other device that connects to the Internet, including smart phones, mp3 players and tablets.

When we use digital devices we run certain risks – to our personal information, our financial data, and those devices themselves. This section describes different cyber security risks, with tips and strategies for managing them, and looks at issues of particular concern to children and teens.

Almost all of kids’ favourite apps and websites make money from targeted advertising, which uses their personal information to choose which ads to show them. Many of them also sell the data they collect to data brokers, which use information from many sources to make detailed profiles of users. Some also share it with other apps that are owned by the same company, such as Google and YouTube or Instagram and Facebook. 

Internet and mobile communications technologies offer a wealth of opportunities for fun, learning, and exploration. They also present parents and teachers with a host of concerns and worries. In this section, you can find resources on how to tackle these issues in a positive way.