Staying connected online has never been more important, now that many of us are physically isolated from family members, friends, colleagues and support networks due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The internet is a great way to socialise, learn, work, play, and be entertained, but there are also risks.
Norfolk Island residents, including children, are safer online after the Australian Government funded the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to conduct training on-island at the end of February.
An eSafety trainer has provided a range of in-person presentations on Norfolk Island for different audiences including primary and secondary school children, teachers, parents and carers, and a range of community groups. A total of 13 training and information sessions were conducted over one week with 290 people attending.
The most common issues identified for primary school children on Norfolk Island was playing online games with M or R ratings, under-aged children using social media platforms, and requests received by children from strangers. Bill shock was identified as a common issue for parents of primary school children.
Secondary students on Norfolk Island expressed concerns about privacy and personal information, as well as gossip from social media posts.
The primary concerns identified by parents were screen time management, contact by strangers, and exposure to inappropriate material.
Online scams and online shopping issues were identified as of interest to community groups on Norfolk Island, and the Women's Advocacy Group had a specific interest in the eSafety Women's program, which has a focus on domestic violence.
Please remember to be aware of the risks while online, particularly at this time when our online interactions have increased due to social distancing during the pandemic.
With the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), including an increase in online scams, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner is adding new content to its website every day. A wide range of resources and advice for all age groups, online training and webinars are available to help you and your family stay safe online. More information is available at www.esafety.gov.au and you can also sign up for regular updates from the website. For specific examples on how to stay safe online during COVID-19 see the links provided below:
Of further interest is information from UNICEF about the protection of children and the increased potential harms during this time.
Administrator of Norfolk Island
16 April 2020