26 September 2023

Call for software updates to keep kids safe

Start the conversation

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is urging parents to regularly update software and security on their children’s devices to help shield them from online predators.

The call follows a warning from the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) that predators have attempted to take over children’s accounts by using compromised passwords.

Commander for the ACCCE, Hilda Sirec said undertaking regular security updates on devices was the best protection against intrusions or attempts to install malware on a victim’s computer.

“Once a predator has control of a child’s account, they can assume that identity to try to obtain child exploitation material from other children,” Commander Sirec said.

“Some malware can also enable a computer’s camera to be turned on remotely,” she said.

“That means a predator, who has compromised an account, could turn the camera on your child’s computer.”

Commander Sirec said while no computer system or device was impenetrable, anybody could achieve a high level of security through updates and antivirus protection.

She said students should also be taught early about the importance of maintaining good password security and how to detect suspicious links that could contain malware.

“A predator will seize on any opportunity to steal a password to gain access to an account and exploit the instant credibility that provides them with,” she said.

“We also encourage parents to practice good password security.”

Commander Sirec said this included using different passwords for different accounts and making passwords hard to guess with a mixture of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.