26 September 2023

Protection for parents in digital world

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Parents and carers are to have access to a new source of protection for their families in the digital world with a new safety resource released by Australia’s eSafety Commissioner’s office.

The Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant said the new Online Safety for Every Family was a package of animated videos and advice sheets addressing a range of common challenges, such as social media, gaming, online bullying and general online safety.

“We see a very broad range of online skills across the community, including among those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“Increasingly parents and carers have a high level of digital literacy but we are also aware some may feel a divide between themselves and their children when it comes to technology,” she said.

“We have created these resources to help bridge that divide and ensure everyone can be confident helping their children learn and play safely online.”

Ms Inman Grant said the package was designed to help parents begin a conversation with their children about online safety and build the confidence to support more positive experiences.

She said it also included links and information to help if something went wrong.

“Research from eSafety shows half of children surveyed in 2021 had been treated in a hurtful or nasty way online in the past year, one in 10 had been the target of hate speech and 55 per cent had been in contact with someone they first met online,” the Commissioner said.

“It also shows that parents and carers tend to underestimate the prevalence and impact of potentially negative experiences online,” she said.

“However, it is important to recognise the huge contribution parents can make in their own children’s lives.”

Ms Inman Grant said that when equipped with the right information, parents and carers could play a positive and proactive role in ensuring their children remain happy and healthy online.

She said the Online Safety for Every Family resources were available in English, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Tamil and Dari.

The new eSafety resources can be accessed at this PS News link.

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