Internet Security: Protecting Your Kids Online & Content Filtering

To ensure the internet remains a safe place for you and your family, it is important to set some rules for using the internet and understand that you can control what is viewed online via content filters that you can download onto your computer.

Be sure to visit our companion articles on our Internet Security & Safety Index. You can also learn more about online safety at www.esafety.gov.au.

General Online Safety Tips for Kids

To keep your children's web experience a safe one, we’ve got some common sense rules you may want to discuss as a family and encourage your children to follow:

  • I won’t sign up to or use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare etc. without my parents / guardians permission

  • I won't give out information about myself, my family or friends; like my address, school or phone number without getting my parents / guardians permission first

  • If I receive something online that makes me feel uncomfortable, I won't respond; I'll leave that website right away and tell my parents

  • I'll never reply to messages or chat if someone says something that makes me feel uncomfortable or weird, I’ll just leave the chat room/session straight away

  • I won't meet up in person with anyone I meet online without getting my parents' permission first

  • I will never send anybody my picture, personal details or anything else without first checking with my parents / guardian

  • I won't open or accept emails, files, links, URLs or other things from people I don't really know or trust

  • I won't give out my password to anyone but my parents or guardian - not even to my best friend

  • People I might meet online may not be who they say they are (e.g. someone who says they're a 12 year-old girl could really be a 40 year-old man)

  • I will always tell my parents or guardian if something on the internet is confusing, scary or makes me feel icky

  • I will always tell my parents or guardian if I see rude language or pictures when online

  • I will never fill out any online forms without my parents' / guardian and will never go into an area that asks for money, personal information (like my full name) or a credit card number

  • I will remember that if someone/something makes an offer online that seems too good to be true, then it probably is

Back to Top

What about Cyber-Bullying?

Optus has partnered with Kids Helpline to provide parents and guardians support and resources regarding cyber-bullying. Visit the Kid's Helpline Online Safety website for everything you need.

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner was launched on 1 July 2015 to help investigate complaints about cyber-bullying via social media sites. For details and a range of helpful resources, refer to their website: www.esafety.gov.au. The form to lodge a cyberbullying complaint is available at:

https://esafety.gov.au/complaints-and-reporting/cyberbullying-complaints/lodge-a-cyberbullying-complaint

Back to Top

How can I control what my family can see on the Internet?

You can control the content being accessed from your computer by using content filtering software. It can be used to restrict and monitor web sites that may be offensive and/or inappropriate for children.

The Communications Alliance has a list of approved family friendly internet content filters which have been independently tested and meet their criteria. The list is available at: http://www.commsalliance.com.au/Activities/ispi/fff.

Back to Top

What is the Optus Digital Thumbprint program?

Optus Digital Thumbprint empowers young people to stay safe online to shape their future for the better. It teaches the advantages of a positive online presence and how to stay safe online in a fun and interactive way.

Created in close consultation with leading education experts and delivered free to Secondary schools in metropolitan NSW, VIC & QLD by a team of world-class facilitators, the program contains 3 face-to-face, curriculum aligned workshops tailored to the needs of specific year groups that empower and inform Australia’s young digital natives.

Optus has a long history of supporting the community and making a positive impact. Our Corporate Social Responsibility is focused on empowering our next generation to learn and to achieve their full potential through our digital technologies and innovative programs. Optus Digital Thumbprint is completely free for schools, and does not promote any Optus products or services.

We’re thrilled that through our Digital Thumbprint program over 100,000 students have learned to be safer and smarter online.

For more information on the program, please visit: http://www.digitalthumbprint.com.au/

Back to Top

Further Help & Resources

Learn more about how to secure your device/computer at: http://www.commsalliance.com.au/Activities/ispi. This site is coordinated by the Communications Alliance (of which Optus is a member) and offers practical tips to help guard against internet fraud, how you can protect your personal information online and how to protect your computer/online device.

The Australian Government has a range of information on their website at http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au.

The Children’s eSafety Commissioner operates a range of cyber safety and cyber security education and awareness programs designed for children, parents and teachers. To learn more about these programs, visit www.esafety.gov.au.

Kids Helpline is Australia's only free, private and confidential, phone counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25. For more information please visit their website at https://kidshelpline.com.au.

Back to Top