Children’s Safety From Online Predators in Focus With ThinkUKnow Website
Victoria, Australia (News4us.com) April 05, 2011
Children are being better equipped to combat the dangers of predators and online risks, through the launch of the ‘youth section’ of the ThinkUKnow website today.
In a joint initiative of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Microsoft, supported by ninemsn, the new section of the website provides information and best practices for young people on social networking, online chatting, gaming, peer-to-peer networks, instant messaging, mobile phones and blogs.
The AFP, Microsoft, ninemsn and the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor MP, launched the new section to coincide with National Youth Week with a view to empowering young people to use the internet and other technologies in a safe and responsible manner.
In addition to the launch, a ThinkUKnow Facebook page, Twitter account and blog have also been unveiled. The Facebook profile allows young people to interact with others and share their views on different issues. The Twitter account and blog will be used to post internet safety and ThinkUKnow updates and messages for parents, carers and teachers.
Since the launch of ThinkUKnow in 2010, there have been almost 7,000 parents, carers and teachers educated on how to keep young people safe online.
Acting Manager Investigations and Business Delivery Todd Hunter said the new youth section and social media strategy is another example of how law enforcement and the industry, such as Microsoft and ninemsn, can educate young people and ensure they are prepared for the online world.
“The internet is an integral tool in education and social networking, but it’s a reality that it some people will use it for sinister reasons,” he said.
“The ThinkUKnow website teaches parents and carers about these risks, and through the youth section we are looking educate the young people and ensure they’re aware of these dangers and the ways best to deal with them and most importantly, how they can have fun, stay in control and report.
“The AFP is actively involved in pursuing those who seek to harm and exploit children online but the best weapon we have against these online predators is ensuring that the children themselves know the warning signs and what to do when they occur.”
Microsoft Australia’s chief security advisor, Stuart Strathdee, said that effective education required ThinkUKnow to be present in the online places and spaces that youth were spending time on.
“To effectively deliver our message about being safe online, we’ve got to be communicating in the popular places that young Australians are spending their time, and that means Facebook and Twitter. These channels provide an opportunity
to have a two-way conversation, and I really encourage young Australians to start following ThinkUKnow on Twitter and to ‘like’ the Facebook page,” said Mr Strathdee.
The ThinkUKnow program originated in the UK and was founded by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.
For further information and resources on the ThinkUKnow initiative or to register your school for a presentation, go to www.thinkuknow.org.au.
When: 9.00am – Wednesday 6 April 2011
Where: Croydon Secondary College, Croydon Road, Victoria
The launch will take place in the Library.
- Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor
- AFP Acting Manager Investigations & Business Delivery Todd Hunter
- Microsoft representative Marwa Omar
- Croydon Secondary College Principal Terry Bennett
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