Why Safer Internet Day is important for your charity or school

Safer Internet Day 2023 is fast approaching. On 7 February 2023, Australians will be encouraged to “connect, reflect and protect” for the sake of making the internet a safer space for everyone. Why is this important for your charity or school?

Safer Internet Day is an opportunity for your school or charity to:

  • connect with your stakeholders on online safety, to better understand their expectations for how you make the online spaces in which you provide services safer;
  • reflect on how your systems and processes ensure safety and privacy, and how you could better do this; and
  • protect your stakeholders, clients and students by sharing tips and tricks to protect themselves online, and starting the conversation about larger shifts.

Societal expectations of online safety and privacy are shifting.

Hybrid is the new norm. Services are increasingly being provided online. Data breaches are gaining greater publicity and a more significant reputational impact. The online environment is becoming more hostile. There are many reasons why societal expectations of online safety and privacy are shifting.

  • 47% of 14 to 17 year old’s have received a sexual message from someone in the past year.1
  • 30% of teens have been contacted by a stranger online.2
  • 30% of LGBTIQ+ and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have experienced hate speech online – double the national average.3

Understanding these risks faced online by vulnerable Australians, it is no surprise there are increasing expectations from parents and the community as to what measures organisations are taking to keep children safe online. In our webinar on 8 February 2023, we will discuss some case studies and what you can do to keep children safe online.

Child Safe Standards

The 2022 update to the Victorian Child Safe Standards (and for schools, Ministerial Order 1359) includes new requirements for how organisations manage the risk of child abuse in online environments. See Child Safe Standard 9.

Hostile online actors are targeting schools and charities.

Cyber threats and data breaches are almost inevitable. In the 2020–21 financial year, the Australian Cyber Security Centre received over 67,500 cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 13% from the previous financial year.

  • Health care and social assistance (homelessness, family violence, disability) represented 7.3% of cyber incidents reported – that’s nearly 5,000 cyber incidents in 12 months.
  • Education and training represented 6.2% of cyber incidents reported – that’s over 4,100 cyber incidents in 12 months.

For a charity or not-for-profit, failing to take appropriate action to secure data could mean:

  • the exposure of sensitive information of clients, students, donors or members;
  • the loss of funding and resources;
  • reputational damage;
  • for schools, non-compliance with registration requirements, leading to regulatory action; and
  • breach of legal obligations (including privacy laws and the ACNC Governance Standards).

How we can help

Our safeguarding, education and privacy teams can offer training and provide tailored internal resources to empower staff to understand risks facing children and organisations online, and how to handle incidents when things do go wrong.

Come to our webinar to learn more about how you can support the charities or school you are a part of to connect, reflect and protect. Read here our top tips for ensuring online safety and data security for charities.

Contact us

Please contact us for more detailed and tailored help.

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1 – eSafety Commissioner, Mind the Gap (2022)
2 – eSafety Commissioner Digital lives of Aussie teens, 2021
3 – Online hate speech, 2020.