26 September 2023

eSafety’s New Year resolution to help others

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eSafety is encouraging Australians to set a New Year’s resolution to support their older relatives and friends by sharing the importance of online safety.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said giving family members tech gifts like home assistants and smart phones may be very welcome and well intentioned, but these electronic devices could also be overwhelming and risky for older Australians if not set up securely.

Commissioner Inman Grant said access to services and social connection through digital technology and the internet was empowering.

However, she said it could also be overwhelming to an older person who may not feel confident online and didn’t know what to look for when setting up a new device or signing up for a digital service.

“Even those of us who use technology on a daily basis can find it challenging to create strong passwords and review privacy settings across our devices and accounts,” Commissioner Inman Grant said.

“For those older Australians who haven’t had as much exposure to the online world, this can be an even more intimidating process full of confusing tech jargon,” she said.

“Make it your New Year’s resolution to improve the digital skills of those around you by taking time to share the importance of online safety.”

Commissioner Inman Grant encouraged people to utilise the resources on eSafety’s Be Connected website which provides a wide range of self-paced courses to help improve online safety and security settings, including how to spot scams and create strong passwords.

She said the courses included easy-to-follow instructions with short videos and summary sheets to download and use as helpful reference tools.

“No matter our age or digital skill level, we all need to be careful about the amount of personal information we disclose online, especially as technology evolves and new devices have the potential to collect extensive location and biometric information including fingerprint logins,” the Commissioner said.

“In connecting our loved ones through new devices and online services, we need to make sure devices and accounts are set up securely, so we don’t unintentionally open them up to scams and other vulnerabilities,” she said.

“Be Connected provides everything you need to learn on how to set up devices, prioritise secure passwords and enjoy what the online world has to offer.”

eSafety’s Be Connected website can be accessed at this PS News link.

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