If you’re parenting in 2019, there’s a good chance that your child’s online safety is at the top of your list of worries.
And if you’re like most parents, you’re also probably a little overwhelmed with the thought of how to prepare and protect them, given the plethora of apps, games and social media platforms available.
Luckily for all of us, the good folk at the office of The eSafety Commissioner (Australia’s national independent regulator for online safety) are on the case. They stay on top of the latest technology and trends and distill what they find into easy-to-access information and advice.
Their website has long been a trusted source of information for schools and parents, but after 18 months of work alongside various experts, they have just launched a refreshed website, which is bursting with new material to help you and your child navigate almost any online quandary.
Here’s some of the website’s best features:
A dedicated parent portal:
If you’re a parent, the eSafetyparents page is the best place to start and is the most visited section of the website. It contains an advice section on topics like when to let your child have their own social media accounts and smartphones, a guide to hard-to-have conversations with your child about things like pornography and sexting and a guide on kids and gaming.
Practical, technical advice:
If you want to take a screenshot of what you’ve seen online but you’re not sure how to, there’s short video tutorials for Apple phones, androids, PCs and Macs, along with advice about other useful information to document. There’s also a great tutorial on how to activate parental controls on devices.
A filter function on the front page lets you search the entire website by topic. There’s also a general ‘I want help with…’ search bar at the top of each page. The video and resource library can also be searched by student age and topic to find tailored resources for teachers. You can also peruse the latest research by topic.
App/games/social media lists:
The eSafety Guide summarises most of the popular games, apps and social media platforms, and includes advice about privacy settings and reporting inappropriate content.
A dedicated page for young people:
The website also has a specific page for young people (12-18 years), which has had input from young people and is a great link to share with your child. Topics include what to do if you’re being pressured to send nude images (or if you receive unwanted nude images), pressures from social media, and catfishing (when someone pretends to be someone else on social media).
Advice on how to report abuse:
This section will walk you through how to report cyberbullying, image-based abuse (if an intimate image has been shared or threatened to be shared without consent) and illegal and harmful content. It also includes information about what the eSafety Commissioner can and can’t investigate.
Read a Media Release about the new website