Internet and mobile technologies play a major role in the lives of children and young people. They are exposed to an open online social culture which enables increasing access to information and social connections. Accessing the internet is not without its risks, and it can be challenging for carers to ensure children have the skills and knowledge to identify and avoid the risks, so they can experience the benefits of being online.
The eSafety Commissioner provides a range of online safety information targeted to parents and carers. Through eSafety Parents and Carers you will find tips and advice such as:
- helping your child deal with the big issues in online safety such as cyberbullying, online pornography, sending nudes and sexting, time online, gaming and unwanted contact
- what you need to know, including online safety basics, good habits, the hard-to-have conversations and your child’s privacy.
You can download their guide Online safety: a guide for parents and carers or take their online Screen Smart Parent Tour to find out more.
The Queensland Family and Child Commission also provides some online safety resources for families and care-givers. They advise that if you’re caring for a young person, try their top 10 tips for helping them stay safe online:
- Focus on the positives: There are lots of great things about the internet, don't just focus on the dangers.
- Be curious: Learn about what they know about and do online, and be open to understanding their world. Remember, you don't have to be the expert!
- Keep talking: Have ongoing conversations with them about their online activities and listen to what they have to say.
- Stay up-to-date: The digital world keeps changing and so do the dangers. Know what the latest online trends are.
- Discuss the dangers: Help them identify what might be harmful online, why and what they can do to stay safe - this builds their digital literacy and empowers them.
- Encourage empathy: Educate them about respectful relationships and empathy towards others - online and offline.
- Be brave: Be open to having conversations about difficult subjects that may be uncomfortable for everyone.
- Empower them: They need to know how to respond to inappropriate online content and contact. Work out practical ways together, so they feel empowered to tackle potential situations.
- Model behaviour: Think about your own social media presence and activities and make sure your own behaviour is the same as what you expect from them.
- Watch for changes: Be aware of what they're doing online and pay attention if their behaviour and mood change. Seek support!
- Information for young people about protecting themselves online.
- Find information for parents and carers about bullying.