Empowering Aussie kids to be safe online

In just nine months the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner has reached over 47,000 Australian students through Virtual Classrooms—as revealed in the Office’s nine-month report, released today.

Virtual Classrooms—real time video presentations delivered online by the Office’s eSafety trainers—are an increasingly popular technological solution for online safety education.

'Being online is the default setting for young Australians, underscoring the need for us to use technology to reach them where they are,' says Commissioner Alastair MacGibbon.

'We’re continually working harder and smarter to empower Australian children and their families with the skills and resilience they need to explore the online world, safely.'

Through distance education, the reach of Virtual Classrooms has spread to regional and remote communities and even overseas, with Australian children logging on from as far afield as France, South Africa, India and even Antarctica.

Working closely with industry partners, the Office continues to improve the online environment for children, overseeing the removal of cyberbullying material that is seriously harassing, threatening, humiliating or intimidating from social media sites.

'We’re being proactive in working to make the internet safer for our children, but things can still go wrong, and when they do, we’re here to help,' says MacGibbon.

The Office has resolved 124 cyberbullying complaints, with a noted rise in cases involving nasty comments and offensive language or name calling.

Since 1 July 2015, the Office has dealt with over 1,500 telephone and email enquiries, and referred more than 4,300 young people to Kids Helpline.

The Office has also conducted over 7,900 investigations into illegal and offensive online content, working with 50 international partners to remove more than 5,400 URLs of child sexual abuse material.

'In our increasingly networked society, we need to guide our children toward safe online experiences, and to be there for them as a safety net,' says MacGibbon.

The Office is continuing to develop innovative digital resources for all Australians. Find out more at: www.esafety.gov.au.

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