Cybersafety in Queensland schools
The Department of Education supports every child and young person in Queensland state schools to learn and engage safely in the digital world. With the rise of technology and increasing access for young people, Online Safety in Queensland State Schools (PDF, 3.8MB) document provides guidance on how the department responds and supports schools, students, parents and the community, in keeping young people safe online.
To help students navigate the digital world, the Department's Cybersafety and Reputation Management team has developed a range of resources, including:
- Your Digital Journey—a course for students in Years 3-6
- Enhancing Your Digital Identity—a course for students in Years 7-10
- Cybersafety - Making positive online choices—a course for students in Years 11 and 12
- The Cyber Heroes—a suite of resources for primary school students designed to discuss the importance and power of positive online behaviours
- Enhance your digital identity—the 7 steps to a positive digital footprint
Information for parents
To help keep your child safe when they are online, you can:
- put computers in open spaces within your home
- remind your child that content can be posted instantaneously, the downfall is that they can potentially post something without thinking about the ramifications.
- educate your child about appropriate online behaviour and the need for respectful communication with other internet users
- keep an eye on what your child is doing online (both in the home and on any mobile devices they may have access to e.g. phones, music devices and tablets)
- set clear rules about what sites and activities they are allowed to access
- install software to limit their use and monitor/restrict the sites they visit
- discuss a plan with your child about how to address any cybersafety issues that may arise (make sure they know you will be supportive if they mention anything and that they will not get in trouble)
- encourage them to find someone they feel safe talking to, such as yourself, a relative, a teacher or a trusted adult.
Access Online awareness: Information for parents and caregivers (PDF, 4.5MB) which provides important information for parents about cybersafety and cyberbullying. It suggests what parents and caregivers could do if their child is the target of, or is responsible for, inappropriate online behaviour.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner also provide a suite of resources, helping Australians to have safer, more positive experiences online. In particular, there is a parent page which provides advice for parents and carers, along with a blogposts page which currently contains information about staying safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tips for learning at home
With children increasingly using the internet and technology at home, please consider ways to protect them whilst they are online.
Manage screen time and online content
When students are connected to the internet, consider installing some form of internet filtering and parental control solution so you can set time limits, filter and block content and reward good behaviour. There are many options available, including free and paid products where some cover a single device and others cover multiple devices. The eSafety Commissioner’s Taming the Technology has more information.
Set clear rules and boundaries
Establish rules about what apps, websites and programs your child is allowed to access. Set screen time limits that best suit your household and set boundaries about where technology can be used. Make clear rules about who your child can connect with whilst they are online, and what language is appropriate and acceptable. These conversations are crucial so your child understands your family's rules and consequences.
Check online contacts and friends
Remind your child that sometimes people pretend to be someone they’re not, even using profile pictures from real people’s accounts. Just because it looks like the profile of someone they know, doesn’t mean it is. It’s best to check whether a profile is legitimate before accepting friend requests or messages. Where your child is speaking with others they do know, encourage them to engage in a respectful manner and to alert you or a trusted adult if they feel uncomfortable at any stage.
Be responsible and positive
Ensure your child knows not to share personal information online, such as their school, address, date of birth, phone number or location. Remind your child to think before sharing any posts, images or messages online. All posts should be positive, useful and true to present themselves in a positive way and remain respectful of others.
Communicate with your child
This is a great time to have open discussions about their technology use and reassure your child that they can talk to you or another trusted adult about any online concerns, if they have made a mistake, or if someone makes them feel uncomfortable. The eSafety Commissioner’s Start the chat and stay safe online (PDF, 2.7MB) booklet has more information.
For more information about learning at home, visit learning@home.
Social media tips
Social media applications (such as Facebook) are extremely popular with young people and the usage of these sites is only likely to increase.
Some tips to help your child stay safe while using social media include:
- make sure they never reveal their home address, phone number, email address and passwords
- review the age suitability for any sites and apps your child joins or installs
- look at who their contacts and followers are—this will help reduce the risk of them encountering inappropriate people and content
- educate yourself on the issues that children face
- establish an open relationship with your child so they trust you to view their profiles
- reinforce the need for them to keep passwords private and to update them regularly
- ensure your child understands the implications of posting images and content on the internet.
Consider creating an account on the social media application your child uses and request to become friends or follow their account. Your child may resist this but it may still be a good idea to open an account to increase your understanding of the site or app they are using.
Reporting inappropriate content
Social media providers may remove content that breaches their terms of service or acceptable use policies. Most websites and apps have a 'report/block this person' or 'report/flag content' function.
If you don't know who the person responsible is or if they refuse to delete it, you can report the content to the social media administrators for review and possible removal.
Common links for reporting inappropriate social media content:
- eSafety’s Parents page—learn about what children do online and how you can encourage them to be positive digital citizens at different ages.
- Stay Smart Online—read about how to protect personal and financial information.
- ThinkUKnow Parents Portal—contains information about technologies that are popular with kids and advice about app safety.
- Computers and your child—learn how you can help your children to stay safe online, and set boundaries for how to use technology.
- Who's chatting to your kids?—provides tips to help you keep your children safe from online predators.
- Bullying. No way!—information about bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence in schools.
- Social media and the school community (PDF, 1.5MB)—a guide offering information to parents and caregivers about how to use social media in relation to comments or posts about their school community.