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Cyber Safety Project family event: Teaching children to be smart about social media

Published on 17 October 2019
  • Children and young people
  • Community safety
  • Events
Cyber safety - children with mobile devices

Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter – social media can provide a creative and community platform for young people to share experiences, learn and connect with others.

However, in a world where teenagers and young people are ‘growing up digital’, parents can often get lost in a fast-changing online world and how to effectively manage the use of digital platforms and technology safely.

Parents, carers and families are invited along to a free information session filled with practical advice on how they can ensure children learn safe and responsible online habits that start within the home.

Join Trent Ray and Sam Macauley, co-founders of the Cyber Safety Project, as they explore the changing landscape of the most popular social networking and online gaming platforms, while teaching the practical skills needed to confidently navigate the online world safely.

The session will look at ways you can ensure your child stays safe through making use of an application’s privacy settings and help to build positive digital habits through your family’s ‘digital user agreement’.

Other topics discussed include:

  • Learning about Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and how to use their privacy settings
  • Uncovering mobile apps and games that can be potentially harmful
  • Strategies to manage digital wellbeing for children at home

Mayor of Maroondah and Maroondah Community Safety Committee Chair, Cr Rob Steane, said the session was an opportunity for parents to get an insight on the changing nature of social media, how it’s affecting young people and ways they can help their child stay safe, while getting the best out of their interaction with others.

“As a generation, we tend to put our whole lives out there for the world to see. But what becomes of these images and tweets?

“For example, young people may underestimate the risks of sharing such information online, particularly with strangers, and they may not realise how difficult it is to remove something from the Internet once it has been posted,” Cr Steane said.

“Used appropriately, social networks are a great place for young people to connect with others and demonstrate their creativity.

“Understanding the capabilities of devices, online platforms and apps that young people are accessing is important for parents to learn so they can better communicate these to ensure their child’s experience is both safe and fun,” he said.

A self-confessed millennial with accounts on various social networking platforms, Sam Macauley has seen first-hand how even small mistakes made online can have long-lasting social and emotional consequences.

He said “growing up digital”, young people needed to learn and understand the importance of safe and responsible online habits.

Trent Ray said their organisation’s approach was about being proactive rather than reactive, by starting the conversations from an early age.

A cyber safety coach, he believes rather than banning children from using certain technology like smartphones, parents and teachers instead needed to educate children to self-regulate their own use of technology.

“Technology outside of the school context is vastly different and is an everchanging landscape. Anyone who works with young people today must be attuned to the current issues and challenges of living, learning and playing online.

“We believe that when equipped with the skills and strategies to stay safe online, young people feel empowered and confident to independently navigate technology safely and responsibly,” Trent said.

Primary school aged children and older are encouraged to attend this session with their parents/carers. Parents and educators can also attend without children.

The session will begin with parents and children together. Trent will then talk to parents, while Sam will do some activities and have a discussion with the children.

For information on how to book, visit our Parenting information sessions page or call 1300 88 22 33.

Event details

Presented by: Trent Ray and Sam Macauley - Cyber Safety Project

Date: Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Time: 7pm to 8.30pm

Venue: Karralyka, Mines Road, Ringwood East

Cost: Free. Bookings essential

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