AN expert in his field, Brett Lee, creator of Internet and Education Safety Services (INESS), is passionate about cyber safety for children.
Mr Lee emphasised you do not need to be a genius with computers to assist your child with online safety.
We need to be teaching children to think in terms of would we do that in the physical world?
Would those comments, actions or images be acceptable at the shopping centre for instance?
Much the same as parents and carers support their child in the physical world parents need to support their child in the cyber world.
Mr Lee said, “Young people struggle with the concept that, even though they have deleted a comment or image, it remains on the internet, forever and they have no control over what happens to that comment or image.”
Mr Lee made the following suggestions:
Have adult family members on your child’s facebook account, this is a deterrent to those searching unsupervised accounts.
Instil into your child to never accept a friend request from someone they do not know personally.
Have family dinners at least 3 times per week, discuss how things are going, if there is anything online that concerns them?
Put in place rules and boundaries around internet usage.
Give strategies for dealing with cyber bullies.
If your child is the bully, advise them it is a criminal offence under Section 474.17 1(a), (b) of the Criminal Code and as it is online the evidence is there for the police to see and prosecute.
Mr Lee also stressed the importance that as a parent/carer you have a right to know who your child is talking to, where they are and what they are doing both online and in the physical world.
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By Mandy ELLIS