Cyber security and the responsible use of technology is an important issue for all children and young people. We have put together some tips and resources to help guide conversations about keeping kids safe online.
As you may have seen, there has been some recent media in relation to the safety of children and young people in care online.
This follows the District Court sentencing of a 35-year-old man last week, who sexually abused a 13-year-old girl living in a residential care home, after grooming her through an online dating app.
Cyber security and the responsible use of technology is an important issue for all children and young people, with research from Australia’s eSafety Commissioner showing one in four young people have been contacted by someone they don’t know online.
We acknowledge that children and young people in care, across both family and non-family based care, require access to the internet for recreational purposes, to facilitate learning and to ensure they have the same communication opportunities as other young people.
It is important that our staff and foster and kinship carers have regular, meaningful conversations with children and young people about e-safety and identifying predatory behaviour.
We have provided some useful tips and information to help guide these conversations on our below.
Julie Inman Grant is Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, leading the world’s first government agency committed to keeping its citizens safer online.
The eSafety.gov.au website has a wealth of information for parents and carers, children and young people about staying safe online.
There is a particularly useful section on skills and advice for parents and carers, which focuses on online safety basics, good habits start young, are they old enough, the hard-to-have conversations, taming the technology and privacy.
- Encourage children and young people to avoid talking to people online that they don’t know offline
- Ensure that contacts are people your child has met in real life, trust and are safe to communicate with
- Help them understand what information is not okay to share online
- Make children and young people feel comfortable to approach you if something doesn’t feel right
- Warn children and young people about accepting gifts from people
For more information, visit thinkuknow.org.au
Carly Ryan Foundation
Carly Ryan was 15-years-old when she was murdered by an online predator. It was the first crime of its type in Australia, occurring in 2007 when social media was a new phenomenon and paedophiles were starting to infiltrate the online space. Determined to help prevent harm to other innocent children and families and to help them navigate their online journey safely, Carly’s mum Sonya created The Carly Ryan Foundation in 2010.
The CRF is a certified online safety program provider under the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and delivers online safety and healthy relationship seminars to students and parents.
The website also has a range of helpful information for parents and carers, including fact sheets on a wide range of online apps focusing on their challenges, how to block users and how to delete.
For more information, visit carlyryanfoundation.com