Safer Internet Day 2011

“It’s more than a game, it's your life".

Safer Internet Day is being celebrated today in over 60 countries. The event, targeted toward children and teens across the world carries the key message “stay safe online.”

The annual event is being supported in Australia by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). ACMA reported a massive nine million Australians accessed social networking sites from home in June 2010, with up to 25% of these users being under 18 years old.

This year the event will focus on:

•    digital reputation
•    protecting privacy, and
•    online behaviour

"These are essential messages for young people. While many claim to know the risks of posting too much personal or inappropriate information online, they may not always translate that into safe online behaviour," said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. "Thinking about the consequences before posting on your social networking site may help to minimise negative experiences online.

"The internet is increasingly important in our lives, especially among children and young adults," Mr Chapman added. "Safer Internet Day is in line with the government’s commitment to cybersafety education. It helps raise awareness about the safe and responsible use of online technologies."

To access tools, tips and activities regarding online safety, visit: www.cybersmart.gov.au/.

Safer Internet Day is also for parents, who may not know what advice to give their children when it comes to online safety. A recent survey found many parents are not talking to their children about cyber safety.

Below are just a few tips for young people for staying safe online:

• Keep your login and personal details private. Don’t post your address, phone number or school on any websites.
• Once you have posted something online, you may not be able to remove it, so be careful what you write!
• If you are posting a photo or any information about another person, make sure you ask their permission first.
• People are not always who they say they are, so be careful when talking to other people online. If they say something read or offensive, just ignore them and leave the chat room.

More online safety tips are available from Compare Broadband.