Monthly Archives: April 2016


ExpoOur city is about to get very geeky, and love it! From April 28-May 1 the Calgary Comic & Entertainment will welcome tens of thousands of fans to Stampede Park to celebrate pop culture. The event is totally family friendly – there is even an expanded Kid’s Zone this year! Kids will be able to jump around on bouncers, take classes like Hogwart’s potion making, make crafts, or even partake in a Viking battle! And that’s only half the fun… the other half is dressing up!

While it’s definitely not mandatory, Calgary Expo organizer estimate that over half of the people spidermanwho attend the show take the opportunity to dress up at least a little bit. That could range from movie-perfect cosplay (a term that comes from ‘costume’ and ‘play’) to wearing fan gear like Superman T-shirts or Harry Potter scarves. For kids, it’s especially fun, and often the whole family will get into the game to dress up together.

Almost every Halloween or dress up character will be a good fit for Expo, so feel free to recycle. We asked Calgary Expo for some tips, and they sent us these ideas for characters that would be relatively easy to craft or put together using mostly pieces you already have at home…

Clark Kent
A suit with open buttons revealing the Superman crest underneath will make any little guy or gal look like they’re ready for a phone booth. Bonus marks for the Christopher Reeve hair curl and classic Clark Kent glasses.

Doctor Who
There have been many doctors, but some of the best kid’s costumes honour this character with tweed jackets, multicoloured scarves, ‘sonic screwdrivers’, or a fez – lots of which can totally be made at home!

Some brown fabric, a hood, and a lightsaber is all you need for this one.
jedi 2
Sherlock Holmes
Trenchcoat, hat, magnifying glass – done. Bonus marks for having a Watson nearby to complete the look!

Harry Potter
Bring out that prep school uniform, draw on a scar, make a wand from scratch. Bonus: robe & scarf.

Star Trek 
Look in your closet to find a coloured t-shirt/dress, black pants/tights, and pin on a star trek badge (easy to craft!). Bonus points for going ‘Vulcan’ and adding pointy ears and Spock eyebrows.

The 11th Annual Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo will kick off four days of pop culture celebration April 28 – May 1, 2016 at Stampede Park. Tickets are available online at* and range from $20-$48 for adult, regular, singe-day tickets. Discounted youth (ages 8-12) are also available, and children seven and under get in free with an adult.

*Limited onsite sales are available for Thursday and Friday tickets only. Onsite sales are not available for Saturday and Sunday tickets. 

How to Protect Your Child’s Safety Online

Provided by NordVPN Photo:  
9_Calgary%20Police%20Service127[1]Research shows that children are the most vulnerable members of society when it comes to identity theft online.

Nowadays kids start using Internet at a very young age, but many are not yet equipped to understand the dangers of revealing too much information online. They are very quick and eager to use Internet-enabled devices, but lack the obvious know-how about online privacy and security, and are often eager to overshare. For example, Symantec, an online security company conducted a study in Singapore, which suggested that more than 1 million people in the country were victims to online crime last year. 20 percent of them said that it was their children who had downloaded a virus or malicious software to the parent¹s or family computer.

Another danger is targeted attacks on children by cyberthieves, who pry on young netizens because their identities can be easily manipulated. Criminals, for example, can combine a child¹s Social Security number with a fake date of birth and address to open bank accounts, get credit cards or loans.

As children grow, they learn the safe procedures of using the Internet and sharing information on social media. However, the time before this learning curve is the most dangerous ­ and it¹s when parents and educators could step in and offer guidance.

Please take a look at some tips & tricks parents can implement at home to teach children about Internet privacy and safety.

Lay out some ground rules. Whether your child is a teenager or a kid in elementary school, you need to tell them a few basic guidelines. For example, you can start by telling that anything shared once on the Internet stays there forever and that nothing is 100% private.

Tell them to check with you. First tell your child what ³personal information² means. Draw up a list for them and tell them clearly that they should always consult with you before sharing those details together with any website or person on the Internet.

Password protection and usage. Children at a young age start creating their own email accounts these days. Although such email websites alert users to choose strong passwords, advice your child on what kind of passwords to choose. Tell them that the password could be a mix of characters and special symbols and ask them never to share their passwords with anyone, perhaps even with you. Diceware is an easy to use password methodology, where you roll a six-sided die five times and use the results to pick five random words from the list.

Curb social media usage. Children spend a lot of time on social media, so it¹s important to let them know what is OK to share and what isn¹t. Have a talk with your child and discuss what they should not share on social media, for everything stays forever on the Internet. If you want to take an extra step in securing your child¹s online privacy, create fake social media names for them and fake school/ city name.

IM and texting. Sending messages on IM clients like messenger or Whatsapp is something every teenager does, but they don¹t always know that their chats are not 100% private. Therefore, you should advise them never to share personal or bank details or other sensitive information like passwords via messages.

Share news of personal hacks with them. If your child is big enough to understand this, share the latest news about identity thefts or personal hacks with them to make them aware of the dangers they face while using the Internet.

Explain the dangers of free public Wi-Fi. Kids love free Wi-Fi ­ who doesn¹t. Cafes, shops, and even school cafeteria might have unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Explain to your kids to be especially cautious when connecting to these networks ­ as they can easily be monitored. One of the best ways to safely use public Wi-Fi is by installing a VPN. You can pre-install a VPN on a mobile device and teach kids to turn it on whenever using public wifi.

Install a VPN. For ultimate protection install a VPN service on the device they use to encrypt their online communication data. VPN, or Virtual Private Network, creates a connection tunnel that automatically encrypts all the data coming in and out of your device, and effectively protects anyone using the Internet. NordVPN is one of the safest and most user-friendly VPNs on the market. All you have to do is press the ON button ­ and you are connected. NordVPN works on up to 6 devices, and now also has Mac and Android apps.

Warn them of game scams. Agree to install games together with your kids. Research to see if the game and the provider are reputable. Make sure you download the games only from a reputable source after reading some reviews. Too often fake games are uploaded online, which are made to pop with color on websites, prompting kids to install them for free, when in fact it¹s malware that could infect your device.

Communication with strangers. The Internet is as social as ever. New chat rooms, forums uniting different interest groups are popping up every day. As kids are eager to discuss their interests with peers, it is important to speak to them about sharing one¹s private information. Under no circumstances should they share any pictures, addresses, etc.

Email deals are fake! All that sparkles is not gold. If your kids receive an email about a great offer like a free cell phone or concert tickets ­ it¹s a trick designed to get one to give up personal information. Again, advise your kids to always show you such emails and never respond to them.

Kids these days are more tech-savvy then most of their parents when they were that age ­ but at the same time, they will be exposed to online identity thefts, hackings and snooping if they are not taught basic Internet safety rules from an early age. For more information, please visit

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