Push for schools to teach cyber safety

Rebecca Gredley
(Australian Associated Press)


Australia’s e-safety commissioner Julie Inman Grant has called for all students to be taught about cyber safety at school after the latest data showed one-in-five young people are victims of online bullying.

One-in-four complaints to the e-safety office involve direct threats of violence or harm targeting a child, she says, adding that four per cent of the most serious cases have been referred to police.

“The minute we hand over a device is when we need to start talking to our kids abut respect, responsibility, but also let them know they can come to us if something goes wrong,” she told ABC radio on Wednesday.

“I believe online safety starts in the home and parents are the front line of defence.”

Ms Inman Grant will address the National Press Club on Wednesday to discuss how cyber bullying can be included in the national curriculum.

The research also shows the average age of victims are 14-years-old and are more often females.

“This has been a long standing phenomena, as long as smart phones and the internet have been in children’s lives,” Ms Inman Grant said.

The e-safety office is able to impose a fine of $26,000 a day on tech companies if they don’t remove ‘revenge porn’, but Ms Grant wants online giants to be proactive.

“They don’t want online abuse happening on their sites, but they need to do more to curb it,” she says.

“We’re calling on them to incorporate safety by design into their product development processes.”


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