Australia shares global online safety advice for parents and carers - COVID 19

Release Date: 
1 April 2020
Statement

Senator the Hon Marise Payne
The Hon Paul Fletcher

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner has developed a Global Online Safety Guide for Parents and Carers to support children’s safe use of the internet and connected devices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, said with the impact of COVID-19 we’re seeing more than 1 billion children and young people around the world spending more time at home — and more time online. There are lots of great ways children can use connected devices to learn and play, but there are also risks.

“As parents and carers, you have the best opportunity to support and guide your children to avoid online risks and have safer online experiences by helping them to develop skills like respect, responsibility, resilience and critical reasoning. It’s also vital to make sure that their devices, apps and games have safety, security and privacy settings set at an appropriate and safe level”.

To help parents and carers cope with this new reality, a team of experts at eSafety has developed evidence-based guidance on keeping kids safe online during the outbreak. It collates reliable, expert advice that is applicable to parents around the globe, including a range of practical tips on what to do if things go wrong.

Topics include media, misinformation and scams; time online; parental controls; unwanted contact and grooming; sending nudes and sexting; online pornography; cyberbullying; online gaming; and help seeking and self-care.

The guide includes links to additional resources on each topic, helping parents and carers access trusted, evidence-based, online safety advice.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said, “Australia is at the forefront of world efforts to make the internet a safer place, and Australia’s eSafety Commissioner is a well-respected regulator with deep expertise in these issues. As COVID-19 sees people around the world at home and spending lots of time online, this means online safety is more important than ever. I commend the eSafety Commissioner on its global information sharing initiative. I hope that eSafety’s fact sheets, guidelines and advice – dealing with topics including parental controls, unwanted online contact and cyberbullying – can be helpful to families around the world.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Senator the Hon Marise Payne said, "With parents, carers and their children spending more time at home to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, online safety is more important than ever. We are seeing people around the world move online to learn, work and socialise. This invaluable online safety advice, developed by our world-renowned online safety experts, is just one of the many ways Australia is helping minimise potential harms as a result of this global health crisis."

The guide is available in English, both as an e-book and downloadable PDF. Countries are encouraged to translate the materials and add links to their local helplines and hotlines.

We encourage you to download the materials and share the information widely. You can view or download these resources at the eSafety Commissioner’s website, as well as other targeted COVID-19 information.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: media@esafety.gov.au