Parents need to go back to school on cyber safety

Over half of Australian parents will send their child to school with a laptop but many have failed to talk to their children about cyber safety, a survey has found.

Research from Telstra shows over half (54%) of parents plan to send their child to school with a laptop, while seven in ten (74%) parents said their child will take a mobile phone.

More than a third of parents with children aged between ten and 17 said their child will take both.

However, almost one in five parents admitted they had not spoken to their children recently about approaches from cyber strangers, and a third have not spoken to their children about cyber bullies.

"In this digital age, internet connected devices such as laptops, mobile phones and mobile tablets can be just as important to learning as paper, pens and text books," said Darren Kane, Telstra’s officer of internet trust and safety.

"But like any device connecting to the internet, mobiles and laptops present children with risks they don’t necessarily understand.

"Our research shows that while parents are equipping their kids with technology to assist their studies, some are forgetting to equip them with the skills required to use these tools safely – an essential part of a positive online experience."

Compare Broadband has an online guide to cyber safety, with advice on how parents can protect their children online while allowing them to learn the IT skills essential for their education.

The Australian Government recently launched a campaign to stop cyber bullying and has also launched a website with advice for both students and parents affected by the issue.