On December 7, 2011, the Chilliwack RCMP initiated an investigation of sexual interference after a complaint was received from the parents of a 13 year old Chilliwack girl who advised their daughter was engaged in a sexual relationship with a 20 year old man from Surrey. The relationship was initiated through an online social website.
The communication between the 13 year old girl and the 20 year old man was initiated through Facebook and Peer to Peer iPod Applications. They had several online conversations and shared explicit photos of themselves to each other. The two also met personally on more than one occasion where sexual offences were committed.
The 20 year old man has been arrested by the Chilliwack RCMP. He was released from custody with conditions, including to have no contact with the young girl. The man has not yet been formally charged by Crown Counsel, but is facing several sexual related charges.
“Education is key. One area of concern, especially because the iPod and iPad are becoming more appealing to children, is parental control of the content,” said Corporal Tammy Hollingsworth. “Be sure to check the device you have to see if there is a setting to set limitations as to what your device can access in the interest of restricting inappropriate web material and help protect your child from online predators.”
Here are some tips to help parents:
* You can block the browser, YouTube, iTunes, and the ability to install Applications;
* You can also restrict the type of content purchased for Applications, Music and Podcasts;
* Movies, TV shows and Applications can be restricted by ratings;
* You can also set up Auto-Lock and Passcodes;
* You can review the history of searches when your child uses your device;
* YouTube has its own app button on the main page of the iPad. It’s already a hot destination for most kids so you know your children will use this;
* Videos and comments on YouTube are often inappropriate for children. Normally, on a regular web interface, YouTube offers some controls that you can set on the home page to control what videos your children search on and view;
* You shouldn’t let your children add content to the iPad or any computer without your permission. On a regular computer, unknown downloads can lead to security issues and though those issues aren’t present as yet for the iPad, parents should keep a close eye on the iPad’s use and content. Again, you can set limits in the Restrictions area;
* The whole iPad itself can be password protected with a 4 digit passcode which can prevent children from using it without permission;
* Sign out of your App Store account when not actively shopping to prevent children (or co-workers) from downloading unwanted programming on your dime.