The internet offers amazing possibilities for communication and information-sharing. However, the digital world also comes with its share of potential risks, such as computer viruses and malware, hacking, online scams, cyber bullying or loss of privacy to online surveillance.
Idea Exchange has resources and information on online safety that will help you and your family to enjoy the best of the internet while avoiding the pitfalls.
Using the Internet at the Idea Exchange
Idea Exchange offers free and unfiltered public access to the internet through on-site WiFi and internet stations. In addition, special internet stations are available in the Children's Department with features geared exclusively to children under the age of 13.
Children are entitled to access all information and facilities in the library. As with other materials, it is the responsibility of parents to guide children's appropriate use of the internet and other electronic networks. Parents who have concerns about their children's ability to use the internet safely are advised to accompany and supervise their children.
To learn more about connecting to the internet at Idea Exchange, please consult the Internet Access Policy.
Here are a Few of Our Titles...
The Idea Exchange's collections offer a range of materials on computer security and data protection online:
Recommended Links for Parents
This site provides guidance on teaching children and young adults to think critically about their use of online media and to safe and ethical citizens of the digital world.
How to Make a Family Media Use Plan
This guide explains how to make a family media use plan for regulating screen-time and encouraging good online habits on websites, email or social media accounts.
Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media's introduction to internet privacy answers common questions from parents, such as offering best practices for setting screen names and passwords, managing privacy settings and keeping an eye on one's digital footprint online.
Recommended Links for the General Public
Serene-Risc is a training tool to help Canadians learn how to protect themselves from online threats. Work through the various learning modules to build your online safety knowledge.
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO): Scam Prevention
Learn methods for protecting yourself from common telephone and internet scams via this website from Community Legal Education Ontario. The organization also provides information on how best to respond if you believe you have fallen prey to a scam.
Library Freedom Project
This project works with libraries and their communities to promote online privacy, intellectual freedom and digital tools to prevent the growth of surveillance online.
American Library Association
Find out more about how libraries advocate for intellectual freedom and privacy online through the technologies they provide to communities through the American Library Association’s website.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides information on issues of privacy, security and intellectual freedom on the Internet, as well as sharing tools for website encryption and protection from surveillance.
Industry Canada: Cyber Security
This cyber security guide provides Canadians with tips on keeping online interactions safe and private while using email, shopping or managing financial transactions via the internet.
Consumer Reports: Internet Security
Consumer Reports provides a compilation of resources on how to avoid online fraud, identity theft and other threats targeting consumers online.
Online Security Tools
Succuri Site Check
The Succuri Site Check tool allows you to check the websites you use for security threats such as malware, blacklisting status, website errors and out-of-date software. Simply type in the web address of a website and the Sitecheck tool will report on any issues associated with the site in question.
"Have I Been Pwned?" Email Breach Reporting Tool
This popular breach reporting tool has an unusual name but is useful because it enables users to check the status of personal email or social media accounts for any public account breaches or hacks. Typing in one’s email address or account username yields a list of any breaches the address or username has appeared in and notifies you to change the associated account password.
Last Pass Password Generator
The most secure passwords tend to be randomly generated ones, with a range of letters, numbers and symbols. This random password generator will help you to create passwords that are both difficult to hack and fit the specifications of the website you are accessing.
This web browser extension from the Electronic Frontier Foundation prevents invisible trackers from tracking the sites you visit.
This online tool assesses the security of your browser and provides feedback on how to increase your security from online surveillance.