Safer Internet Day 2022: Play it Safe Online

Today, 8 February 2022, marks Safer Internet Day, promoted by Australia’s eSafety Commissioner and 170 online safety regulatory bodies around the world to encourage safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones. It is an opportunity for all stakeholders to join together to make the internet a safer and better place for all, and especially for children and young people.

From cyberbullying to social networking to digital identity, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns.

Safer Internet Day website

How to get involved

Safer Internet Day is a great opportunity to engage with children associated with your organisation about safety risks in online environments, and how they can protect themselves from, for example, grooming and cyberbullying.

The eSafety Commissioner has published an eSafety Toolkit for Schools that provides resources to assist schools to prepare, engage, educate and respond to online safety. There are also classroom resources for early years, primary and secondary students.

You could focus on a specific threat in the online environment that is particularly relevant to your organisation, such as cyberbullying, inappropriate content, or unwanted contact and grooming. Discussing scenarios of possible online threats with children in skill-building conversations empowers them to know how to respond if the scenario eventuated.

How you can respond to an online incident

How you should respond to an online incident will depend on the severity of the incident, and your organisation’s Child Safety Policy and reporting procedures.

Some key features of how to respond include:

  • If a child is at risk of immediate harm, call 000.
  • Reassure the child they have done the right thing by reporting the incident to an adult. The best interests of the child concerned should guide how you respond.
  • Consider applicable state and territory laws and possible need or mandatory reporting – details of these should be included in your Child Safe Policy or Reporting Procedures.
  • Involve the student in decisions.
  • Engage with parents and carers.
  • Focus on restoring relationships.
  • Record the incident, response and actions taken.
  • For cases of image-based abuse, grooming and cyberbullying, you can lodge a complaint with the eSafety Commissioner, making sure the student has given their authorisation.
  • Monitor whether the behaviour has stopped.

The eSafety Commissioner provides more detail about responding to online incidents here. We’ve also written in more detail about the eSafety Commissioner’s power here.

How we can help

In addition to Child Safety audits and review of your policies, procedures and codes of conduct, Moores helps organisations to respond to online incidents and develop strategies to support your work with children online. We can also assist with investigations and processes when responding to online safety incidents.

Contact us

Please contact us for more detailed and tailored help.

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