eSafety – cyber security and protecting children
Digital citizenship website
A new policy governing student use of digital devices and online services applies in all NSW public schools in 2020. The new policy includes the digital device restriction for primary schools announced by the NSW Government in December 2018. Learn more about the 2018 Review into non-educational use of mobile phones in NSW schools.
The goal is to empower students, teachers and parents with practical advice, based on current research, to guide them in making informed decisions about how children and young people engage and conduct themselves online.
We have made a conscious effort to move away from a fear-based approach to focus more on a positively framed strategy. NSW public schools teach students to be responsible digital citizens as they explore the possibilities of the digital world. We are equipping and empowering NSW students, teachers and parents with the skills and knowledge to minimise the risks and maximise the opportunities of our digital future by
- supporting teachers to model best practice and to actively teach the skills to be a good digital citizen
- providing advice and guidance to parents and carers on how to best support and care for their children when online
- encouraging students to be safe and responsible when online and to be positive contributors to a digital society.
The Digital Citizenship website provides practical advice to students, teachers and parents on the responsible use of technology, addressing safe and ethical online behaviour. Articles and resources are linked to the NSW and Australian Curriculum.
The Australian eSafety Commissioner’s website
Additionally, to support schools, teachers, parents and carers to protect children, experts in eSafety have developed evidence-based advice on keeping children safe while online. It collates reliable, expert knowledge that is applicable to parents and educators 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, cyberbullying, online gaming as well as advice on self-care.
The Australian eSafety Commissioner’s website, for instance, provides access to:
- an online safety booklet for children under five
- advice on parental controls such as setting up filters on the home internet
- an on-line safety guide for young people
- specific advice on the “big issues” such as cyberbullying and unwanted contact or grooming
- global safety advice to help parents deal with online abuse.
Some key messages include:
- applying parental controls to limit screen time,
- applying parental controls to block specific app use
- applying parental controls to block websites
- instructions on how to limit use of the camera and microphone to prevent external communication
- applying age restrictions to media content and websites (the Communications Alliance has a list of accredited family friendly filters)
- monitoring a child’s use of apps or web browsing activities
- configuring web browsers to use “safe search”
- ensuring children use devices in sight of parents
- talking to your children about online behaviours.