During the COVID-19 pandemic, children and young people are likely to be spending more time online, including using apps and games to pass the time, connect with friends and family and learn. This may result in children and young people being at a higher risk of engaging with online child sex offenders, highlighting the importance of parents and carers understanding the challenges their children may face online.
The ACCCE and Australian law enforcement regularly see cases involving children and young people being targeted by online child sex offenders through social networking, image or video sharing apps, instant messaging or gaming platforms to self-produce online child sexual exploitation material.
The most important thing that families and carers can do is to start the conversation about online safety with children from an early age and to continue talking with them regularly throughout all stages of their lives.
Together with ThinkUKnow, we have created a fun online safety Family Bingo activity. It includes online and offline activities, so there’s something for everyone. You can set a challenge to complete all of the activities over a weekend, one a week or what works best for your family.
We are issuing Australian families with a Seven day online safety challenge in partnership with ThinkUKnow. The challenge involves a daily simple task for parents and carers to complete, to help kick-start their journey in helping protect their children. The tasks include reviewing privacy settings, researching the apps and games their children use and creating an online family safety contract. Don’t forget to tag us and use #7dayonlinesafetychallenge
ThinkUKnow home learning activity packs are now available to support parents, carers and children, and address the challenges associated with children spending more time online. The activity packs address a range of topics, such as online supervision, unwanted contact and safer online interactions, through real case studies and prevention tips and activities that encourage open discussion.
Download home learning packs at www.thinkuknow.org.au/for-parents-and-carers
If your child is experiencing issues online, it is essential to collect evidence before reporting. For example, taking screenshots or photos of the inappropriate content.
Support services are available to victims and their parents, carers and teachers including counselling services.