Keeping the grandkids safe online: a how-to guide for grandparents

Today the eSafety Commissioner has released a guide to help grandparents teach their grandchildren about online safety, as part of the Be Connected program. 

The guide, Online safety for grandparents and carers, comes as research reveals about a quarter of older Australians provide regular care for grandchildren, spending 12 hours per week on average with their grandchildren*.

eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, said grandparents played a crucial role caring for children in families but many did not have the knowledge or confidence to keep them safe online. 

“We also know grandparents love to spoil their grandkids but that doesn’t mean they need to be permissive – or lack knowledge – when it comes to online safety.

“More than half of people aged over 70 have low to no digital literacy*,” she said. ”And with 81% of parents giving their preschooler access to an internet-enabled device**, there is a real need for a resource to help for grandparents upskill in online safety.

Younger grandparents can also benefit from using the guide. Latest research from eSafety shows Australians aged 50 to 65 are less confident using online technology than those aged 18 to 34. They are also less confident managing online safety issues, such as knowing where to report a negative online incident (33% compared to 54%)***. 

The guide will inform grandparents and carers on a range of issues such as online footprints, cyberbullying and the pressures of social media. It provides guidance on matters such as how to set up devices securely, share time online with grandchildren, and teach grandchildren when to ask for help.

Visit eSafety to download a copy of Online safety for grandparents and carers guide.

Older Australians can also find a host of other engaging courses, online presentations and information to help them connect safely online on the Be Connected website

The Be Connected program is an Australian government initiative committed to improving the online confidence, skills and safety of older Australians. 

*Understanding the digital behaviours of older Australians. 2018. eSafety Commissioner.
**Parenting in the digital age. 2018. eSafety Commissioner.
***Building Australian adults’ confidence and resilience online. 2020. eSafety Commissioner. 

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