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Cyber Safety

The importance of educating our youth 

Young people now have access to virtually a limitless world within the internet and they, including their parents, should know and understand the possible risks that come with such a freedom. The internet is not broken down into age appropriate areas and without supervision or guidance from adults, young people can purposely or unintentionally access content that is explicit, inappropriate or even disturbing. People can freely talk and share anything they want online, this gives ‘trolls’ or ‘keyboard warriors’, or even paedophiles, their weapons of mass destruction.

We have all heard the stories on the news right? About how a young girl was talking to who she thought was a friend and turned out to be a gross 40 year old man? Or how a young boy was cyber bullied so terribly that he took his own life?  Unfortunately, situations like this really do happen but do we really listen and think about the possibilities that this could happen to you or your children? Not nearly enough I believe.

Teaching kids early to be cyber safe will allow them to engage the cyber world responsibly and discerningly which assists their protection from such online risks.  Early education from both schools and parents can reduce these awful stories we hear on the news. However, schools and teachers also need to be educated on cyber safety. This is where a foundation such as Bully Zero Australia comes into play. Not only do they teach children the consequences and effects of cyber bullying, they also teach how to be safe on the internet.

The Bully Zero Australia Foundation definition of Cyber Bullying:

Cyber bullying is the deliberate use of communications and new media technologies (email, phones, chatrooms, discussion groups, instant messaging, video clips, cameras, hate websites/pages, blogs and gaming sites) to repeatedly harass, threaten, harm, humiliate, and victimise another with the intention to cause harm, discomfort and intimidation.

Common acts of cyber bullying include: Flaming; Harassment; Denigration; Impersonation; Outing and Trickery; Exclusion; Cyber-stalking; Sexting; Pornography.

Sometimes children (even adults!) are faced with online situations they are unsure how to handle, such as cyberbullying, and may be either embarrassed or uncomfortable to talk to anyone about it. Foundations such as Bully Zero Australia have a mission, to keep Australian children and young people safe online. They can provide the appropriate resources for young people to overcome situations, such as cyber bullying, and create support for both them, their parents and teachers. This foundation also supports the ‘bullies’ to help change and understand their own behaviour.

Schools are also able to access information in regards to cyber safety from such foundations. Bully Zero Australia also provide presentations for students and teachers where they express and communicate the importance of cyber safety and how to be cyber safe.

The importance of cyber safety is a growing subject, especially when society is becoming more and more technology and network dependent.

If you are interested in such presentations or would like to access further information in regards to cyber safety, please contact Bully Zero Australia.

24 hour helpline (free call): 1800 028 559
Email: support@bzaf.org.au
Website: www.bzaf.org.au