Call for vigilance: Use of digital platforms by young people

22 february 2024

The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) calls on parents and their children to take extra care when using digital applications or online games. 

By failing to take the necessary precautions, young people are exposed to many risks when using these platforms. 

For example, a young person may be influenced to take part in a dangerous challenge, view inappropriate and unwanted images, or become a victim of intimidation, sextortion (demand for money under threat of posting intimate images of the victim), or even Internet luring. 

These types of crimes will most certainly have an impact on the lives of the young people involved, which is why it is important for parents to be aware of the nature of their online activities. 

Under cover of a false identity, sexual predators can get in contact with victims and then attempt to get hold of their personal information or intimate images. 


For you as parents

  • Remember that most social media applications require users to be at least 13.
  • Read informative articles about an application, how it works and the type of content found before deciding to download it for your child.
  • Activate the controls and change the privacy settings on applications to limit who can see posts, photos and videos and make your child’s profile private.
  • Ask your child to use a pseudonym and a profile photo that does not disclose their age, home address or interests.
  • Sign up for Alerts by visiting this website: Online Harms: Alerts 

For your child or children

  • Report any dangerous influence or illegal conduct to a trusted adult.
  • Never get undressed in front of a camera (photo or video).
  • Immediately stop all communication with someone who is trying to force you with threats to produce or post content.
  • Ask for permission from an adult before adding a new person to your contacts list or posting content on social media. 

If your child is a victim, contact 911 in an emergency or your neighbourhood police station. 

For more information:

Canadian Centre for Child Protection, Parenting tweens and teens in the digital world (Download free PDF)