Kids learn about cyber safety

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

“IF YOU have a Face­book ac­count or Kik messenger ac­count I want you to go home and delete it.”

This was the mes­sage from Cannonvale State School prin­ci­pal An­gela Kelly who at­tended a Cy­bers­mart pre­sen­ta­tion with stu­dents in the school’s assem­bly hall on Tues­day.

Ms Kelly said she was shocked at the num­ber of stu­dents who not only ad­mit­ted to hav­ing a Face­book ac­count but who had also ac­cepted peo­ple to their friends list who they had never met.

“Pri­mary school stu­dents should not have th­ese so­cial net­work­ing ac­counts and par­ents need to sup­port that mes­sage and be aware of what their chil­dren are do­ing on the in­ter­net,” she said.

Cy­bers­mart is a national cyber-safety and cyber-se­cu­rity ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram which is de­signed to ed­u­cate and em­power stu­dents to be safe on­line.

Clarissa Tam­blyn from Cy­bers­mart held an eye-open­ing pre­sen­ta­tion to teach lo­cal kids the im­por­tance of pro­tect­ing their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, read­ing web­site terms and con­di­tions, block­ing pop-ups and iden­ti­fy­ing harm­ful sites and scams.

She said web­sites like Face­book and In­sta­gram had age res- tric­tions im­posed on chil­dren un­der the age of 13, with Kik messenger re­strict­ing chil­dren un­der 17.

Cyber smart se­nior ad­viser Ros­alie O’Neale said par­ents should be in­ter­ac­tive and mon­i­tor their child’s in­ter­net use.

“Chil­dren are ac­tive so­cial me­dia users and it is im­por­tant for them to know they can trust their par­ents and ask for their gui- dance when on­line sit­u­a­tions arise,” she said. “They need to learn how to reg­u­late their on­line life, pro­tect their iden­tity and think about their fu­ture dig­i­tal rep­u­ta­tion.” Ms Tam­blyn also held ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion ses­sions for teach­ers and par­ents to high­light is­sues of cyber-bul­ly­ing, so­cial net­work­ing and on­line friends, e-se­cu­rity, on­line gam­ing and shop­ping.

ON­LINE SAFETY: Clarissa Tam­blyn from Cy­bers­mart taught lo­cal stu­dents the im­por­tance of pro­tect­ing their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, read­ing web­site terms and con­di­tions, block­ing pop-ups and iden­ti­fy­ing harm­ful sites and scams at Cannonvale State School on Tues­day.

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