Merlyn Horton, CEO
SafeOnline Education Associates
Merlyn Horton is a Canadian Internet Safety Evangelist, and CEO of SafeOnline Education Associates.
She has published policy documents for provincial government ministries, presented to international conferences and been featured on major media outlets.
Dynamic, brilliant and entertaining; her knowledge of online environments and the dynamics of online communities as they pertain to youth and children is unparalleled.
Since 2002, when she founded the Safe Online Outreach Society, (SOLOS), the bulk of Horton’s work has been the research, development and delivery of internet safety presentations to students and parents. Seeing a gap in education regarding children using technology safely, she built ever-evolving content that addressed emerging issues throughout the 2000’s. Primarily serving British Columbia, SOLOS presentations were hosted by schools in all four corners of the province; from Atlin to Osoyoos, from Sparwood to Alert Bay, from Prince Rupert to Barrier and Fort St. John. Students in grades four to twelve, university students, parents of all perspectives and native elders were informed by relevant, appropriate and engaging SOLOS presentations. During some years, various dynamic speakers assisted Merlyn deliver those presentations, which numbered over 1000, and served over 100,000 people from 2002 to 2015.
During her career, Merlyn Horton has also spoken at international conferences on topics including cyber abuse, online sexual exploitation, children and media, social media and human resources, homelessness and social media, victims of domestic violence and technological risks and online pedophile communities, at both national and international conferences. Her expertise has been utilized developing social media policies for non-profit organizations, advising human resource professionals about online risks and writing group home social media policies.
Prior to founding SOLOS, her early frontline employment background included sexual health educator, outdoor wilderness instructor, youth group home management, foster home supervision, women’s transition house worker and street outreach work.
After operating the Safe Online Outreach Society as a non-profit organization for 13 years, and with the blessing of her former funders and Board of Directors, Merlyn Horton and her expertise transitioned to a social-capital small-business model in January of 2016, re-named SafeOnline Education Associates.
Merlyn Horton, as SafeOnline, continues to deliver high quality presentations and workshops tailored to meet the evolving needs for our times for schools, parents and diverse audiences. At this time, she is the only authorized presenter for SafeOnline Education Associates.
Merlyn Horton’s educational background includes a Diploma in Journalism (S.A.I.T.) (1988) and an Undergrad Degree (B.P.A.) from Athabasca University (2001) in self-directed studies about online pedophiles and emerging online youth culture.
Her work has been recognized with the 2003 Myrtle Everett Woman of the Year Award and a 2008 Crime Prevention Individual Achievement Award.
Internet Safety Education
- Presenter to over 150,000 students, parents and professionals since 2001
- 2002 : Featured speaker at COPINE Conference, Cork Ireland
- 2003 : Featured speaker at University of Dundee, Dundee Scotland
- 2012 : Featured speaker at ERASE Bullying Summit hosted by Premier Clarke in 2012.
- 2015 : Speaker at We Move Forward, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
- Lead author of Bridging the Gap pdf
- Teaching Online Safety: Tips, Tricks and Best Practices for Online Safety Education (2012)
- Online Outreach Toolkit: contact us for link and password.
- 1984-1987 – Family Support Worker
- 1987-1990 – Youth Worker – Trust Treatment Centre
- 1993 – Women’s Support Worker – Women’s Resource Society of the Fraser Valley
- 1993-1999 – Reconnect Outreach Worker, Abbotsford Community Services (ACS)
- 1999 – Chair and Founder of Abbotsford Community Action Team Against the Sexual Exploitation of Youth
- 1996-1999 – Youth Anger Management group facilitator
- 1996-1999 – Abbotsford Youth Shelter Committee
- 1997 – Family Support Worker – ACS
- 1997-1999 – Provincial Reconnect Committee – Member
- 1993-1994 : R.C.M.P. Victim Services volunteer
- 1993-1995: Board of Directors for the Maple Ridge Family Place
- 1997- 2016 : Volunteer, Mission Folk Music Festival, stage manager
- 2002-2006 : Prison Chaplain with Corrections Services Canada
- 2013-2105 : Board of Directors Federation of Community Social Services
IN THE MEDIA
Kelowna Workshop: Parenting in a Digital Age, Part 1
CTV TV News – August 14, 2012
Convicted child-lurer caught with phony Facebook account