Protecting personal information online – do young people get it?

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Our Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart is worried that maybe they don’t. After conducting an investigation into Facebook’s privacy policies, we’re now turning our attention to youth as the school year gets underway. Because while they may be savvy about using social media, many of them still may not know how to create a secure online identity.

If you’re listening to the radio today you may hear a message from our office that we created especially for young Canadians. In case you miss it, we’ve provided clips from it for you here . The gist of it is that many young people are still jeopardizing their safety, and possibly compromising their futures, by sharing photos and information – some of it inappropriate – with people they don’t know… people who may not be who they say they are.

Young people – everyone, really – need to always be aware that the personal information that they post online could be used in a variety of shady ways, from embarrassing them, to stealing their identities – even for finding out where they live, go to school, or their plans for the weekend. Our radio message urges young people (and their parents and teachers) to regularly visit for information on safely using the Internet and social networking sites.

The message also reminds everyone that we’re inviting all young people, between the ages of 12 and 18, to participate in our second annual video contest. All they have to do is create a one- to two-minute public service announcement on the importance of privacy by Friday, December 11th and they could win some really cool prizes!

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