Safer Internet Day is 5 February to remind us all that it’s not always a nice place for the inexperienced
Safer Internet Day Australia (website here) is an initiative of the Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner. It is a worldwide event celebrated globally in over 130 countries to encourage a better internet.
Safer Internet Day theme
This year’s theme—’Together for a better internet’ encourages individuals to create a better internet by developing four, critical skills. These are the 4Rs:
Respect– I treat myself and others the way I
like to be treated.
Responsibility – I am accountable for my actions
and I take a stand when I feel something
Reasoning – I question what is real.
Resilience – I get back up from tough
There are resource kits for schools and others at the website.
Don’t just hand your child a device
that enables them to connect to the internet and all that entails.
There are parental controls that you can activate on the
phone. These can limit access to undesirable websites, monitor, and block objectionable content and restrict the use of
apps or even usage at certain times of the day.
Controls are set at
the device level or via software packages to control
access to home wi-fi or across devices used by the family.
Many schools now ban the use of mobile phones in school. Check their school’s policy.
Teach you and your child about the safe use of social media
Parents and kids all like to stay connected to friends and
family via social networking apps. But it’s easy to overshare!
Make sure you
regularly talk to your child about their online activity and how they are using
these platforms. Stay engaged and aware of how your children are using their
devices to help ensure they are staying safe.
Some social media apps have age limits which match maturity
levels with access to appropriate content. Privacy settings need to be suitable for the child’s age.
Build screen time around family activities
Parents must talk to their children about how often they use
their mobile device. That includes some rules and guidance around appropriate
usage to ensure a balance between screen time and other activities.
The UK Royal College of Pediatrics and Child’s Health
(RCPCH) recently released guidelines suggesting that if screen time is
interfering with what families want to do or a child’s sleep, parents should
replace screen time with activities that encourage family and face to face
interaction or encourage more sleep, exercise and less snacking while using
Have an open dialogue to help prevent cyberbullying
Cyberbullying can include abusive or mean texts or messages,
excluding others in an online space, as well as posting nasty gossip or videos
or pictures online.
Cyberbullying is like face to face bullying – it is about
relationships and managing those relationships. It’s important to talk to
children and help them develop good strategies and behaviours to deal with any kind of bullying and to prevent them from
It’s important to set up
an open dialogue so children know that they can and should talk to parents,
teachers or other trusted adults if they are experiencing bullying and that
there are steps that can be taken to remedy situations.
A smartphone is often a child’s first interaction with
spending money or managing personal
credit. Teach financial awareness by helping then understand how their mobile
plan works and how to limit spending.
Pre-paid voice and data plans are always best to manage costs and never supply your credit card for in-app purchases.
Facebook has just been fined for ‘friendly fraud’ for failing to act over children using credit cards for in-app purchases