This is a true story. I have a friend named Ed who is married to Lisa and they like to hunt. One day, in 2011, they were out in the mountains of British Columbia on a hunting expedition. On this occasion, Ed was sitting on top of a ridge with a pair of binoculars, his rifle, and his “walkie-talkie” (two way radio). Lisa was walking on the valley floor about 750 metres away, ready to respond to Ed’s suggestions about where to find the game.
Ed followed Lisa’s line of direction and saw, about 150 metres ahead of her, a grizzly bear walking in the trees. He got on his walkie-talkie: “Lisa, I want you to turn left.” He didn’t tell her about the grizzly because he didn’t want to alarm her.
Lisa immediately made the turn and disappeared into the trees.
The grizzly also disappeared.
Ten minutes went by and Ed hadn’t seen his wife. He radioed her again. “Lisa, where are you?”
She responded with a whisper, “You told me to walk quietly. That’s what I’m doing.”
Then Ed saw her come into a clearing by the edge of a stream. She started moving upstream and ... as fate would have it ... the grizzly was in the same stream, just 30 metres ahead, but just around a sharp corner. Lisa and the grizzly hadn’t yet seen each other, but this was about to change.
1. Never give out your personal information about yourself, your school, your telephone number, your address, or your age, without your parents’ permission.
2. Remember that some people will misrepresent who they are. That means that someone who says she is a 15-year old girl may not necessarily be, even if they have a picture attached. It could be a 50-year old man.
3. If someone harasses you, or says (or does) anything that you think is inappropriate, contact your teacher immediately.
4. If you need to create a screen name about yourself, never include your last name, your age, or your birth date.
5. Don’t share your password with anyone except your parents and teacher. If you use a public computer, make sure you sign out of everything before you leave your work station.
6. Don’t post photos of yourself or your siblings without your parents’ permission. Don’t post pictures of your friends without their permission.
7. Don’t buy anything without your parents’ permission. There are marketing traps that prey on the unwise.
8. Don’t download anything to your computer or open a file unless you are sure about who it comes from and what it contains. If in doubt, always ask first. It may save your computer.
9. Don’t get into a written argument with anyone. You can never “win” and it never works out well for anyone involved. If you think you are being “bullied”, let your parents or teacher know immediately.
10. Remember that whatever you post on the Internet may be there forever! Be very careful with your words. Your future university application committee, and future employer, will likely go online to see what you’ve written in the past. Think of this as a strategic opportunity—since you know people will look at everything you say, say good things. Be the encourager. Lead by example.
11. Remember that if something sounds “too good to be true”, it probably is. As someone who has been looking at business opportunities for over a decade, I’ve seen all kinds of traps. Many I’ve fallen into (unfortunately). Some are incredibly believable. If you see something that you think is too good to pass up, do yourself a favor and share it with your teacher or your parent. It may be that we’ve run into these traps before and we know what sits on the other side.
Ed radioed her immediately. “Stop!”
Lisa didn’t question Ed. She backed up.
She did what Ed asked her to do.
“Now move quickly in the direction you’re going.”
Again, Lisa did what Ed asked her to do... and it probably saved her life.
There are dangers on the Internet. Just as Ed cared deeply for Lisa, we also care deeply about your well-being. Sometimes we may ask you to do things—or not to do things—that you don’t understand. Please be assured that we have your best interests at heart. At all times you may share our advice and suggestions with your parents, or those that care for you and are responsible for you. If we see you heading toward a “grizzly”, we’ll ask you to change direction immediately.
Unlike Lisa, it’s okay to ask us “why” at any time. We will be transparent in our answers. As we get started, here are some “rules” to keep you safe from the grizzlies: