Did you know, 1 in 5 children witness or experience cyber bullying?
The Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) libraries at Quirindi and Werris Creek are proudly helping build a cyber safe community and as part of the process have participated in National eSmart Week, an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
“Our libraries have a commitment to cyber safety, wellbeing and digital inclusion. National eSmart Week is about creating awareness and education to encourage smart, safe and responsible use of digital technology. However, it is important that we continue to build this awareness throughout the year. Working with Shire residents we can build cyber safe communities,” said Werris Creek librarian, Marilyn Deeks.
Ms Deeks said that over the past two decades, our lives have been transformed by a digital revolution, opening up a world of possibilities.
“Children are the greatest beneficiaries of the digital era and are learning to navigate the online world at a younger and younger age. We need to ensure our communities are equipped to teach children, and the whole community, how to benefit from online technology whilst being savvy and prepared for the pitfalls - cyber bullying, scams, fraud, exposure to predators and inappropriate content,” she said.
“Partnering with our communities we can create an eSmart Australia, where everyone knows how to be smart, safe and responsible online and passes this information onto their children,” she continued.
“Our libraries are knowledge centres, they are the place where all members of the community can find information, resources and identify local services. Being eSmart means having the knowledge to guard against security and privacy risks, to research and download content in an ethical and legal manner, and manage reputation and relationship-based issues online,” she said.
“When interacting in an online environment children need to be educated on what to do if they are exposed to age-inappropriate content; encounter cyber bullying; or when they might be putting their privacy at risk.
“Parents can help equip their children with digital skills to protect them online through the Digital Licence for Parents at https://www.digitallicence.com.au/parents/. It has been created by cyber safety experts, teachers and psychologists to keep children safe online. It features an online challenge which uses quizzes, videos and games to teach school aged children how to play, learn and socialise online in a smart, safe and responsible way.
“It also includes learners guides to assist parents knowledge on this important issue and to help provide the confidence to communicate, assist and support your children online. There is a cost associated with the licence but interested persons can trial it before deciding if it is suitable for their requirements,” she continued.
“Cyber safety can be complicated and there are now apps available to protect your family and help provide peace of mind when they're online, no matter what device the kids are using and no matter where they're using it. More details can be found online by going to - https://www.familyzone.com/au/,” she said.
“You can find more tips on the Quirindi and Werris Creek library Facebook pages or call in and find out more from your librarian,” Ms Deeks concluded.