Children are spending more time online than ever before and they’re getting there at increasingly younger ages.
Around the world, a child goes online for the first time every half second. For digital natives, growing up online offers limitless opportunities, whether through computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, and televisions, children will experience the online world and develop their social networks.
But with these opportunities come serious risks. Knowing how to stay safe is important, and that requires an active mediating role by parents and caregivers. This topic can seem overwhelming especially if you are not a tech savvy parent. Where do you even start?
Susan McLean is one of Australia’s most well known cyber safety experts, having founded Cyber Safety Solutions in 2007. With 27 years experience with Victoria Police, Susan was the first officer appointed to a position involving cyber safety and young people.
She told 96five’s Ken & Nicky that if a child uses technology that there is always a risk of danger.
“You can’t remove the risk but what you can do is to educate yourself so that you can identify the risk, then minimise it and manage it.”
Susan said there were a number of signs that can indicate that children may be at risk of danger from something that they have encountered online.
“You’re going to notice subtle changes in mood, behaviour, sleep and eating patterns, and how they use technology. Some of the key signs of a problem online is extra secrecy when it comes to technology use and pushing other people away.”
For more advice and tips on how to keep your child safe online, listen to the full interview in the audio player above.
As part of Child Safety Week, Susan will be presenting a special webinar about online safety and young people. The webinar is on Wednesday September 8 from 7pm and costs only $5. More information and tickets are available here.
To find out some simple and practical tips in protecting our children online- listen to the full interview with Ken and Nicky. Susan McLean is also running a webinar on cyber safety on 8th September at 7pm. Cost is $5.