SAFER Internet Day was celebrated in more than 90 countries last week aimed at raising an awareness of the risks involved with revealing too much personal information online.
New figure released by the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner, reveal children as young as eight are sharing their surnames, school details, phone numbers and addresses on their social media accounts.
With online sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Messenger easily accessed via mobile phones, knowing how to keep personal information private is an important part of responsible online behavior.
Twelve-year old Indianna McDonald from Tea Gardens said she uses many strategies to protect her personal details on social media accounts.
“All my accounts are set to private so I can pick who can see my posts,” she said.
“I also turn the location services off so no one can track where I am posting from.”
Indianna told News Of The Area as an added privacy measure, she uses a nickname created for her accounts instead of revealing her full name online.
Nerong teen Khloe Middleton said she is aware of the importance of online safety.
“I frequently get friend requests from people I don’t know and when this happens I just block them so they can’t see anything on my profile,” she said.
“I never accept a request or chat online with anyone I don’t know personally.”
Children’s eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said we need to be having regular conversations with young people about what is, and is not okay to share online.
“We also need to make sure we are modelling the same behaviours in our own social media use,” she said.
“The good news is that most young people are using privacy settings, however, education is essential for reinforcing the importance of keeping sensitive information private.”
Commissioner Inman Grant said the Office has developed a range of resources to help young people, parents, and the wider community develop skills in using online sites safely and respectfully.
The resources can be viewed at: www.esafety.gov.au.
By Daniel SAHYOUN