Safer Internet Day was on Tuesday 11th February and Act for Kids urged all Australians to take the necessary steps to protect children online.
Managed by the eSafety Commissioner, and celebrated in more than 150 countries, Safer Internet Day encourages everyone to create a better, safer internet.
Act for Kids Executive Director of Services, Dr Katrina Lines said that we’re in a new age of parenting.
“Easy access to age-inappropriate content is a major factor in influencing young minds, so education is crucial.”
“It can be challenging to supervise a child’s exposure to inappropriate content online but it’s vital that adults model appropriate behaviour and communicate the importance of online safety to help keep kids safe.”
“It’s time we start a conversation about the material our kids might be accessing, or that someone else might be showing them,” said Dr Lines.
Research commissioned by Act for Kids reveals that while three quarters (78%) of Australians blame problematic sexual behaviours on access to online content, worryingly, parents are not taking the necessary precautions to protect their children online.
The research finds that two-thirds (63%) of parents fail to secure their devices with passwords and one in two (55%) allow their children unsupervised access online.
Stephen Beckett, Act for Kids Executive Director of Service Development, said that easy access to age-inappropriate content is a major factor in influencing young minds.
“As technology is evolving at such a fast pace, those responsible for protecting children are struggling to keep up.”
“As a result, the 98% of children under 10 who already use devices, are left exposed to pornographic and violent content,” said Mr Beckett.
Concerningly, two-thirds (67%) of parents to children under 12 feel they need more education on how to protect their kids from accessing inappropriate content.
Act for Kids is encouraging all parents and carers to secure household devises with passcodes and restrictions, supervise children online, and sit down with their children and have an open conversation about the material they see or may be exposed to.
The internet can be accessed from almost anywhere, so protecting kids is everyone’s business.
For more information about protecting kids online, visit the Act for Kids website www.actforkids.com.au/protect-kids-online/