Safer Internet Day 2013

We were all young once, and I’m often grateful that the mistakes I made during high-school aren’t immortalised on the Internet. Those tragically hip photos (hyper-colour shirt anyone?), the irrational fights I had with my bestie, and my questionable taste in 90’s bands are thankfully stored only in the vaults of my memory.

Over the past year I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of the Internet’s younger citizens as part of iiNet’s Cyber Safety Series. During school visits, I chat to kids about issues such as safe social networking, cyber-bullying, and leaving behind an online footprint (call it your “digital paper trail”) that is reflective of all the great things they do. Regardless of age group, the questions that follow my presentation are fairly consistent; whether I know “that guy from the ads” ( ‘Finn’ for those of you playing at home), followed by “How much do you get paid?” (“Not enough”), and “How do I get rid of something that’s online?” (“With great difficulty!”)

Safer Internet Day takes place on the 5th of February 2013 with a focus on ‘Online Rights and Responsibilities.” Take a moment today to run over these pointers with your kids; cleaning up that paper trail to ‘Connect with Respect.’


  • Privacy. You have the right to protect your personal information and privacy. All social networking sites allow you to restrict your privacy settings. You can further protect your privacy by ensuring your passwords are strong and you change them frequently. Your mobile devices also allow you to control and set privacy settings for your location based services, so that your whereabouts are protected.
  • Protection and safety. You have a right to protect yourself online and ensure your personal information is secure. You can do this by adjusting your privacy settings. Another way to ensure that you exercise your right to protection and safety is to make sure you don’t publish personal information such as your school name, home address or telephone number online. It is also useful to know how to effectively deal with unwanted contact, identity theft, and cyberbullying.
  • Ability to report offensive or threatening content and behaviour. If you come across websites or other material that is offensive, obscene or illegal, there are some easy ways to handle it. If you think content may be illegal, report it to the ACMA’s online hotline. If you come across offensive or threatening content on a social networking site, remember that most of these sites have a “report abuse” button that you can click and report the behaviour.
  • Education. We all have the right to educate ourselves and those close to us on how to stay safe online. Cybersmart provides free and accessible cybersafety resources for families and schools. You can also download the free Cybersafety Help button to your computer desktop or mobile device to easily access useful cybersafety information and assistance whenever you need it.


  • Respect and protect yourself and others. If a friend or someone close to you is experiencing cyberbullying, trollingunwanted contact or sexting, encourage them to report it and seek support by talking to a trusted adult or by contacting the Kids Helpline or Cybersmart Online Helpline Service.
  • Keep a balance. Playing games online and using consoles or games on a computer is great fun, but you to need to be careful how much you play and who you play with. Too much gaming can affect your school or social life. And if you chat with other gamers, you need to protect your privacy and keep your personal or private information to yourself. Find out more about keeping a balance.
  • Protect your digital reputation. Your digital reputation is defined by your behaviours in the online environment and by the content that you post about yourself and others. A poor digital reputation can affect your friendships, relationships and even your job prospects – so protect your digital reputation.

photo credit


  1. Anne Landers says:

    I’m not a teen but your article was very useful in learning what the different terms mean and in giving practical advice to a wary senior.

  2. Dean Pirera says:

    Thank you for taking the time and care to summarise this information Rebecca. It’s really, really important stuff about how to use technology (and not be used by it) in our modern world.

    IT Trainer & Consultant

  3. Jack van der Poel says:

    Well done. I hope the young ones will take notice but what I saw on Facebook, which I have cancelled, age unfortunaly, in many cases, makes very little difference when common sense is the criteria.

  4. Philip King says:

    OK, so how do you get rid of these persistent scams offering the world for nothing? Example below. And is there some way of identifying thework at home ones that may be genuine and worth looking at?

    Sent By

    “” On: 10 February 2013 7:49 AM
    To: pkpeekay
    Reply To:

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    • Adam O'grady says:

      Unfortunately spam is a big problem in the digital world. If it’s a subscribed newsletter, they should offer an option to unsubscribe which you can use to be removed from the mailing list. If it’s spam, it’s best just to delete it. Our mail servers do try and pick up most of the spam that they can, but occasionally some gets through.


  5. Lyn says:

    I’m no longer a [teen] but didn’t know about ”location based services”. Thank you for broadening my outlook. Just a teeny weeny bit of [spell checking] would be good. It is still good – being a Westnet member.