Our Cyber Safety
In a recent research report, The digital lives of Aussie teens compiled by the eSafety Commissioner in February 2021, 44% of teens had a negative online experience in the six months to September 2020 and three quarters of teens wanted more online safety information delivered through trusted channels. The eSafety Commissioner is the only government agency in Australia solely committed to keeping citizens safer online. Their website provides a range of excellent resources to guide students, educators and families through the major online issues impacting on Australians today.
- Explore the eSafetyyoungpeople website with your students explaining the purpose of the eSafety Commissioner and discussing the key online issues impacting on teenagers today. Issues that may currently impact on secondary students include:
o Using digital devices safely
o Image-based abuse
o Online abuse related to family violence
o Removing images, posts, and other material
o Online scams and identity theft
o Balancing online time
o Social media and online chatting
o Online child sexual exploitation/online grooming
o Collecting evidence for legal proceedings.
- Ask students to read Being Safe Online. If online access is not available, provide a copy of the PDF. Discuss as a class, the key strategies to keep safe online. Ask students to use this information to create a poster using an app such as Canva. Explain that some apps allow users to invite others to assist with the creation of a product and the importance of only allowing friends they know and trust to work with them. Display the completed posters and conduct a class vote on the most effective posters. These could be displayed around the school.
- Write the online issues listed above on the whiteboard. Play to the class the following Australian Broadcasting Commission radio interview Cyber safety and ask them to use this information to predict which of these issues would be classed as criminal offences. Place a tick next to them. (For example, cyberbullying, image-based abuse, online abuse related to family violence, online scams and identity theft, gaming, and online child sexual exploitation/online grooming.)
Divide the class into six expert groups and allocate one of the ticked issues per group. Each group is to research their issue, identifying the key information using the following websites:
After the groups have conducted their research, form new numbered groups, which will contain one “Expert” from each of the original groups. During this time, “Experts” will present their information to the other members of the group. Conclude the activity by asking for one interesting fact about each of the issues. Explain that the information they have gathered will be used in Lesson 5.
- Teachers wishing to explore this theme in more depth with their students can engage with The YeS Project. This is a workshop-based digital and social health program that encourages young people to act as positive leaders and supportive friends in all their social spaces, especially online.