It’s a unique program available to Canadians for FREE, offering seminars and online resources that will help keep all members of Canadian families safer online.
Whether it’s protecting children from cyberbullying and sexual exploitation or keeping elderly safe from financial fraud and identity theft, developing more online-savvy is critical to a family’s overall safety when using the Internet on computers, tablets and smartphones alike.
TELUS is a vessel for communication and I am beyond happy that they are doing something about preventing problems from happening. It’s the FIRST of it’s kind in Canada and the program has two parts.
One is aimed at adults interested in keeping themselves and their families safe; the second tailored to appeal directly to youth. TELUS is scheduling free, public TELUS WISE seminars led by specially-trained TELUS team members at convenient locations across the country and is also inviting groups to book their own seminars – a workplace, community centre, school, parenting group or senior’s centre, for example. Individuals can also book a one-on-one session with trained team members at more than 200 TELUS stores. TELUS WISE educational material will also be available on a secure TELUS WISE portal, available to anyone who wants to educate themselves on the safe use of smartphones, tablets and computers.
Having two girls and one that is school-aged, it’s hard. It’s a constant reminder of the things to do if they get bullied, what to do if someone else is being bullied and obviously, the knowledge to never do that to anyone either. I’ve always held the mentality that it’s better to stand up for something, even if you’re standing alone.
In reality, bullying has changed so much since we were younger. Kids before could come home to their and be in solace, now–the bullying follows them home.
It’s not right.
Not to mention, the interwebs is a dangerous place. Especially for children and even adults. Knowing how to protect yourself from predators is a must. With the help of accredited organizations like MediaSmarts and Bullying.org these programs now exist.
TELUS WISE program — for parents and adults:
- In-person seminars that TELUS will hold for the public and can be booked by any business or community group across the country. Participants will learn about the common pitfalls of cyberspace and how to better protect personal information from predators online.
- Vast library of online educational resources for parents about what choices children might be making online, how to protect them, and signs to watch for that children might be in trouble or risk.
- Personalized, one-on-one TELUS WISE sessions on Internet and smartphone safety and security available by appointment at more than 200 TELUS in-store Learning Centres across the country.
TELUS WISE footprint — for children ages eight to 18.
- Secure, online portal offering fun, interactive challenges where children can learn how to stay safe online;
- Relatable comic-strip scenarios that identify common mistakes innocent children often make online around key topics like cyberbullying and predators;
- Unique avatars for engaged learning; and
- School-age children can earn money for their school’s cyberbullying and digital citizenship programs by completing interactive challenges.
“Our belief is that children and youth need critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens,” said Jane Tallim, co-executive director, MediaSmarts.ca. “With the proliferation of the Internet and smartphones, it is critical that socially conscious companies like TELUS offer impactful new programs to keep our children safer online and we’re pleased to be a partner in the roll out of TELUS WISE to millions of families across the country in an effort to educate them about smarter online choices.”
The best bet at being protected is being informed. The older I get, the more involved I am with my parent’s affairs. Times have changed and we are living in a digital age, I try to teach them as much as I can so that they aren’t victims of predators either. There’s much to learn but, it’s great to know that TELUS cares enough to help those who haven’t kept up with the ever changing and evolving digital world.
Some Tips for WISE Smartphone Use:
- Set strong passwords.
- List your Emergency Contacts.
- Install and/or activate remote locate/lock/wipe software and install security software.
- Turn off MOST geo-tagging.
- Be cautius in using WiFi. (Free WiFi can be easy access for predators)
- Choose apps carefully.
- Back up often.
- Wipe your phone clean when you upgrade to a new phone.
I think in the years to come, we will be completely digital and it’s a great head start if you learn and get with the WISE programs now. You’ll be safe, informed and you should always continue to learn and adapt as it continues to change. Even myself, I always read and read about the latest–so many things can be doors to becoming a victim.
Also, being a proud Blogaholic for PTPA, I am proud to mention that TELUS WISE has been awarded the PTPA Winner’s Seal of Approval. Now, if that isn’t enough proof that these programs are AWESOME, I don’t know what is. After all, they say parents know best, right?
For further information, please visit: www.telus.com/wise and www.telus.com/wisefootprint or follow their conversation on Twitter @TELUS using the hashtag #TELUSWISE! The TELUS folks are a great bunch and they are always willing to chat, so look them up!
How do you keep your family safe online and via mobile?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist and editor of lifestyle blog Whispered Inspirations. A social media junkie, a travel-lover with insatiable wanderlust and an aficionado for fun gadgets, good eats, and entertainment. You can find her on Instagram and everywhere else under @WhispersInspire.