The internet is a wonderful source of information and communication that we use daily without really thinking about how it actually works. It’s easy to forget that everything you do online creates a permanent digital record visible to others —including online hackers and predators. ALL online activity — emails, texts, purchases, logins, social media posts and more — creates a ‘digital footprint’. The internet is not a private environment, so always keep this in mind when working on projects, communicating or entering personal information. Personal information can be accessed and stolen, so check privacy settings on devices to limit access and help maximise safety. And never share passwords or private details like full names, phone numbers or addresses. Here are tips for parents to share and discuss with children.

Dos...

  1. Make sure that the site you are on is authenticated.

  2. Seek guidance from an adult before referring to or downloading any online content.

  3. Read only relevant articles or materials.

  4. Use your time efficiently on the internet to gain knowledge. Avoid time-wasting distractions.

  5. Consult with a parent or teacher for guidance on how to recognise scams, false advertising, predators or fake friends, bullying, 'phishing' and more.

  6. Limit screen time – set reasonable limits with parents.

Don't...

  1. Don't sign up on numerous sites to access or download content. Stick to sites you're familiar with and trust. If in doubt, ask an adult.

  2. Don't believe everything that you read or see on the internet – do your research. False information is everywhere.

  3. Don't be distracted by advertisements or pop-ups that frequently appear on sites. Enable device controls.

  4. Don't get distracted by social media while viewing content online, particularly during projects or classes.

  5. Don't use technology during mealtimes or just before bedtime. Too much screen time can affect your health.

Keeping kids safe and happy on the internet is up to all of us — parents, guardians, teachers and students. Ongoing communication is key. Encourage children to develop good online habits and to share their thoughts and feelings about everything they’re seeing and hearing online. Keep kids aware of privacy and security threats and stay involved every day to help monitor and manage activity. Read on for additional information we’ve developed on smart internet use.

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