The Internet Safety Board in Australia is designed to help parents and teachers find safe ways for children to use the Internet. Some of the best tips for parents is to spend time with children online exploring sites together. Teach them the proper use of the Internet and monitor what they are doing. This is important because cases of older kids and adults that take advantage of young children do happen.

Advice for a Safer Experience

Parents should teach children to use the Internet as a handy research tool for homework. It is a way to connect with children with similar interests and hobbies. Set limits on chatrooms and social media. It can be a positive experience but also negative if not supervised. Tell children never to give out personal information that they would not want everyone to know about them.

Keep the computer for the family in the living room or kitchen, not in the bedroom. Limit the time children spend on the computer. Try to get them involved in other activities like sports, music, reading, and other activities. Try to convey the message that it is OK for them to talk about their good and bad experiences on the Internet.

Parents and teachers should convey the message that it is OK for children to tell them about something disturbing or embarrassing on the Internet. This might save a child’s life or help them when times get rough. They can leave a site if they feel uncomfortable or exit a chat that goes wrong.

Internet safety for teenagers means learning to use digital cameras and video equipment properly. Tell them never to send sexual or explicit pictures of themselves to anyone. Often these photos can be posted and sent to anyone after they are emailed. Often teens and even younger children are perfect targets for someone with bad intentions.

Find the best sites for children and teens to use and stick with them. Internet safety Australia wants to make the Internet safe for children, teens, and young adults. What is Internet safety? It is using the Internet responsibly and learning to know a bad situation when you encounter it.

Internet safety in Australia is important for parents especially since they are the ones that spend the most time with children. Another site that parents may want to visit is our CyberQuoll for children ages 8 through 12. For secondary school students, parents can visit a site called Cybernetrix and for older kids, the site Wise Up is very informational.

Cyber Bullying Statistics in Australia

There are many cases of cyberbullying in Australia that lead to suicide and death. A recent case of a 14-year-old girl who committed suicide was caused by cyberbullying. Her mother blamed bullying online as the cause of her death. Rae said her daughter told her about receiving some messages online and she said that she wanted to die because of them. Rae discussed the problem with her daughter and she calmed down. But on Friday she went on the Internet again with tragic results.

Often children receive threats, putdowns, and sometimes explicit photos are circulated by others. Rumors keep circulating and the boy or girl plummets into depression. Some children commit suicide as a result of online bullying. Professor Donna Cross has finished a study for Edith Cowan University on cyberbullying. The study was requested by the federal government.

Most kids that are cyberbullied suffer from depression and anxiety. Another young person Tom Wood was a victim of cyberbullying. He participated in many online forums and he found many participants wanted to do this just to get reactions from others. He stood up to one person that bullied him and received a continuous stream of bullying postings and threats.

He did not know how to respond. He stopped responding to the messages and they eventually stopped. Today he speaks about the problem of cyberbullying in schools and is an advocate for Internet safety for children and young adults.

He tells kids to block or delete their messages or not respond to online bullies. This is a way to stop them. Children should tell adults because cyberbullying is a crime and some might be able to be stopped legally. It is important for children to be able to tell parents about cyberbullying.

More Cases of Internet Bullying

Internet safety information is important because there are way too many cases of cyberbullying in Australia. Internet safety for kids and Internet safety tips help stop and teach children skills of self-reliance. Louise Stalker, a 24-year-old Australian woman, started to receive death and rape threats through Facebook. These threats claimed to know where she studied, went to school, and lived.

The 24-year-old college student lived in fear as she travelled by train to the university three to four times a week. She was a young adult, not a child so she was not the typical victim that we read about. She blocked and ignored the messages but it was not enough to rid her of the problem. She reported the problem to the police and they are still investigating the incident.

Cyberbullying is harassing someone using text messages, email, and posting on social networks. These messages are designed to harass and embarrass the person. Some are clever enough to steal passwords or pose as the person. Sometimes it involves the person posting photos or videos of the victim that cannot be easily removed.

Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Don’t let young children or teens have cell phones. They don’t really need them. Let them use the phone but limit use to calling friends and making appointments related to school or organizations that they belong to. Don’t let them post photos without showing you first what they are posting.

Know what your kids are posting on social media and what websites they visit. Learn about safe websites for kids and keep a list at hand. Try to interest your kids in activities other than just using a computer, tablet, and laptop. It can be walking, biking, reading, crafts, watching movies, listening to the radio, joining a club, sports groups, playing an instrument, or yoga.