Research from theSafety Commissioner shows that 85% of Australian children see the Internet as important to their lives and spend up to 19 hours a week on digital devices outside of school.
However, many children are not aware of the dangers that exist online, including cyberbullying, fake news, unwanted contact by strangers and web threats.
A study by Trend Micro – a global leader in cybersecurity solutions – found that one-in-10 Australian parents admit they don’t keep track of how many devices their children are exposed to or use parental controls on smartphones and other connected devices, meaning they often struggle to manage their kids’ online security.
To combat this, Trend Micro has announced it is partnering with bCyberwise, a module from Life Education that helps students in Years 3-5 learn about cybersafety, cybersecurity and cyber ethics.
Tim Falinski, Senior Director Consumer, APAC for Trend Micro, said parents and schools are increasingly recognising the need for greater education around digital safety, including how to distinguish between safe and suspicious situations online.
“Children are spending more time on the Internet than ever before and being digital is now an integral part of their school learning, so it’s crucial they’re taught the necessary skillsets to manage safety and security online as early as possible,” he said.
“As cybersecurity becomes increasingly a digital imperative with national relevance, the bCyberwise module is an important step in building digital education for young Australians.”
Life Education Australia CEO, Verity Blackman, said that in an increasingly online world, the partnership would help protect children from online risks and support them to be positive digital citizens.
“These days, children face new challenges,” Blackman said.
In response to growing concerns about online safety, in 2016 Life Education Australia launched its dedicated cybersafety module ‘bCyberwise’, which has become Life Education’s most sought after program, reaching around 80,000 students nationally in the past 12 months.
“This partnership will enable us to further adapt and evolve our program to ensure children have the skills and knowledge they need to face the complex and changing nature of the digital environment,” Blackman said.