Australian Government Strongly Endorses Safer Internet Day Especially When Using Social Networking Sites

Canberra, Australia ( February 09, 2011

Australian Government Strongly Endorses Safer Internet Day Especially When Using Social Networking Sites

Australian Government Strongly Endorses Safer Internet Day Especially When Using Social Networking Sites

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today used Safer Internet Day 2011 to remind Australians to stay safe online, especially when using social networking sites.

“The Australian Government strongly endorses Safer Internet Day and its important key message this year to be safe online when using social networking sites,” Senator Conroy said.

“This year’s theme is It’s more than a game, it’s your life and activities will take place around Australia and overseas to remind young people that what they do online can have a real impact on their lives.

“The high take-up of social networking services by young people means it is particularly important that they understand the consequences of posting too much personal information or inappropriate information online.”

Safer Internet Day activities are coordinated in Australia by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as part of its Cybersmart Program. Activities include classroom work, an online forum for young people and face-to-face presentations in schools and libraries.

The ACMA will also be working with industry and non-government organisations across Australia to promote the day.

To coincide with Safer Internet Day, Senator Conroy published the results of a survey of parents and carers on children’s cybersafety and e-security issues.

This is the first component of the Australian Children’s Cybersafety and E-Security Research Project, which has involved two repeatable surveys commissioned by the Australian Government.

“The survey results reflect parents’ knowledge and perceptions of their children’s experiences when using the internet. These findings show that further work needs to be done to raise cybersafety and security awareness issues and support parents in preparing and responding to cybersafety and security risks for their children.” Senator Conroy said.

Key findings include:

  • Almost 70% of parents are concerned about the safety risks of their children accessing the internet
  • the majority of parents had implemented some form of preventative measures to reduce the risks to their children when online or had spoken to their children about the risks involved, however almost 20% of parents had not even spoken to their children about the risks
  • just under half the parents surveyed felt they were well informed about cybersafety issues.

The results of the second survey, which collected information from teachers on children’s cybersafety experiences, are being finalised.

“The Government will be undertaking similar surveys in the future which will allow us to track changes in levels of cybersafety awareness and behaviour over time,” Senator Conroy said.

“This research will complement the advice we receive from our Consultative Working Group and Youth Advisory Group on Cybersafety, and will be used to inform new and existing cybersafety initiatives.

“I recently launched the Cybersafety Help Button, which was developed in response to a recommendation from the Youth Advisory Group on Cybersafety. The Button provides a one-stop-shop for coordinated cybersafety information and assistance.

“The Button has been adopted by schools and libraries across Australia and has been downloaded to around 177, 000 school computers across the Queensland education network.

“I encourage all state and territory education authorities to follow Queensland’s example and make this valuable resource available to students in all Australian schools,” Senator Conroy said.

The Cybersafety Help Button can be downloaded at:

Information about Safer Internet Day is available at:

The results of the parents’ survey are available at:

For information on how to protect yourself online visit and access the Cyber Security Education Package for Australian school students.

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