We need to help keep the internet safe for our grandkids

Safer Internet Day 2015 – 10 February


OK, the target group for Safer Internet Day may be children and young people but isn’t that where we come in as parents and grandparents?

Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people. Over the years, SID has become a landmark event in the online safety calendar. Starting as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and taken up by the Insafe network of European Safer Internet Centres as one of its earliest actions in 2005, Safer Internet Day is now celebrated annually across the globe.

The theme this year is Let’s create a better internet together.

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has focused on building better relationships between parents/carers and their children and have released a brand new resource, the Parents’ Chatterbox Series.

Cybersmart Chatterbox for Parents is a conversational how-to-guide exploring the digital lives our children or grandchildren lead – when to worry and when to celebrate the benefits the online world brings. Each conversation addresses the specific issues, behaviours and safety essentials to help make sense of what’s happening behind the screens

The informal and interactive nature of Chatterbox provides a fresh, new and jargon-free perspective on cyber safety issues. The Chatterbox conversations by Cybersmart can be accessed at home or on mobile devices. There are currently nine episodes on the Chatterbox website. Each episode has a video to watch, a forum you can join or you can just listen to the conversation.

  1. Selfies and Someone-Elsies

This episode explores some of the risky behaviours young people can engage in online. It suggests tips on how to manage some of the most common parenting challenges in the online world.

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  1. Tots, Teens and In-Betweens

Has the digital world changed childhood forever or will children always be children regardless of changing environments? Where does technology fit in?

  1. Trolling, Tagging and Bagging

Online communication through picture posting, status updates, testing and instant messaging is an integral part of life, with many benefits for self-expression. However, young people need to be aware of the rules and etiquette principals that apply to digital interactions. This episode explores the potential for harm that can sometimes occur when social media is misused.

  1. The Internet’s underbelly
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The digital world has made pornography accessible, anonymous and affordable for all. For adults – this isn’t generally an issue but for young people it can be damaging and disturbing. For some children, exposure to online pornography occurs before any formal education on the topic and the portrayals fail to demonstrate the elements of a healthy sexual relationship, like love and respect. This episode focuses on accessing age-appropriate content and unwanted contact.

  1. Screentime and Downtime

Between smartphones, tablets and laptops children are consuming may hours of screen time a day. Unless a good balance of time offline and online is maintained, it can start to feel quite excessive or even compulsive, and interfere with their physical, mental and social health. Time online – how much is too much?

  1. Digital Rights vs. Digital Wrongs

Do you feel you have the tools and knowledge to help your kids deal with ethical situations they may encounter online? Young people are still developing their self-regulation skills and as adults, we are best placed to guide them in making the right decisions both online and offline. Do you think parenting online is any different to parenting offline?

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  1. Parental Controls

In this Chatterbox episode the discussion is about parental control tools, their benefits, their limits and how they can help you manage your children’s online time. Apart from parental supervision and open communication how do you manage your child’s time and the content they see online? Do parental control tools work for your family?

  1. Blurred Lines

Cybersmart experts discuss the complexities of parenting and schooling in the digital age. An often asked question by parents and teachers alike is about who has ultimate responsibility for a child’s cyber safety education. There is no right or wrong answers to this question so in this episode time is taken to chat about the blurred liens between parenting, teaching, protecting and communicating with your children in the digital age.

  1. Cyberbullying
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As a grandparent, finding out your grandchild is being cyberbullied can be quite upsetting. Figuring out what to do and how to help your child can be daunting with the mountains of information available online. To help you, this has been narrowed down to the FOUR main things every parent needs to know about cyberbullying. A simple straightforward starting point.


The Internet is too good to miss so while Safer Internet Day may be celebrated on 10 February this year let’s take what steps we can to make sure that the younger members of our family are kept safe all the year around.


What safety precautions do you take online? Are you concerned about your grandchildren’s safety on the internet? Tell us below.