Security and risk management

Australian government promotes safe online behavior on Safer Internet Day

AUSTRALIA -- The Australian government used Safer Internet Day 2011 to remind Australians to stay safe online, especially when using social networking sites.

"The Australian government strongly endorses Safer Internet Day and its important key message this year to be safe online when using social networking sites,” Senator Stephen  Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, said in his message.

"The high take-up of social networking services by young people means it is particularly important that they understand the consequences of posting too much personal information or inappropriate information online,” he added.

With the theme " It’s more than a game, it’s your life," this year's Safer Internet Day activities held last February 8 were coordinated in Australia by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as part of its Cybersmart Program.

Activities include classroom work, an online forum for young people and face-to-face presentations in schools and libraries. ACMA also worked with industry and non-government organizations across the country to promote the day.

Senator Conroy also published the results of a survey of parents and caregivers on children’s cyber safety and e-security issues.

"The survey results reflect parents’ knowledge and perceptions of their children’s experiences when using the Internet. These findings show that further work needs to be done to raise cyber safety and security awareness issues and support parents in preparing and responding to cyber safety and security risks for their children,” Senator Conroy said.

Other key findings include: almost 70 percent of parents are concerned about the safety risks of their children accessing the Internet, majority of parents had implemented some form of preventative measures to reduce the risks to their children when online or had spoken to their children about the risks involved, although almost 20 percent said they had not even spoken to their children about the risks.

The results of the second survey, which collected information from teachers on children’s cyber safety experiences, are being finalized.

"The government will be undertaking similar surveys in the future which will allow us to track changes in levels of cyber safety awareness and behavior over time,” Conroy said.