The internet is an essential tool for all Australians, including children. It is an integral part of our economic and social activities, and a vast resource of information, education and entertainment.
The ability to use online tools effectively provides both a skill for life and the means to acquire new skills.
While the internet has created substantial benefits for children, it has also exposed them to a number of dangers, including exposure to illegal and prohibited content.
Parents rightly expect the Australian Government to play its part in helping protect children online.
In May 2008 the Australian Government committed $125.8 million over four years to a comprehensive cybersafety plan to combat online risks and help parents and educators protect children from inappropriate material. Measures include increased funding towards cybersafety education and awareness raising activities, content blocking and law enforcement.
The government's commitment to cybersafety includes:
- expanding the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Child Protection Operations Team to detect and investigate online child sex exploitation
- funding to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to manage increased activity resulting from the AFP work to ensure that prosecutions are handled quickly
- funding to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) to:
- implement a comprehensive range of cybersafety education activities including improving current government cybersafety website resources, make them easier for parents to use, and to provide up-to-date information,
- implement an online helpline to provide a quick and easy way for children to report online incidents that cause them concern.
- developing and implementing ISP filtering.
- expanding the Consultative Working Group that considers the broad range of cybersafety issues and advises government to ensure properly-developed and targeted policy initiatives
- forming a Youth Advisory Group to provide advice to the Consultative Working Group on cybersafety issues from a young person's perspective
- ongoing cybersafety research into the changing digital environment to identify issues and target future policy and funding.
As a result of consultations with stakeholders, including the Youth Advisory Group on Cybersafety (YAG), the Teachers and Parents Advisory Group on Cybersafety (TAP), and/or the Consultative Working Group on Cybersafety (CWG), the following cybersafety resources have been developed
- The Cooperative Arrangement for Complaints Handling on Social Networking Sites (PDF, 462.6 KB)
- The Cooperative Arrangement for Complaints Handling on Social Networking Sites (DOC, 94.5 KB)
- Media Release: Social Networking Sites to cooperate with Government on complaint handling
Self-declarations provided by Social Networking Sites under the Cooperative Arrangement for Complaints Handling
- Facebook (PDF, 479.9 KB)
- Facebook (DOC, 66.5 KB)
- Google (PDF, 280.5 KB)
- Google (DOC, 64.5 KB)
- Microsoft (PDF, 648.5 KB)
- Microsoft (DOC, 97.0 KB)
- Yahoo! (PDF, 178.7 KB)
- Yahoo! (DOC, 50.0 KB)
The Cooperative Arrangement for Complaints Handling on Social Networking Sites (the Protocol) was developed through close cooperation with industry and has been agreed to by Facebook, Google (YouTube), Yahoo! and Microsoft.
The Protocol assists in improving the information that social networking sites make available to their users about their handling of complaints for material posted online, and to highlight and educate users on mechanisms to deal with problems which arise on their sites.
This provides internet users, particularly children and young people, with easy online access to counseling, reporting and information resources to assist in dealing with cybersafety issues.
This provides cybersafety information about 27 different social networking sites, search engines and online games. It includes general tips on how to stay safe when using any social media site.
Calendar of key events
A calendar containing information on key cybersafety and security dates and events. The calendar was developed in conjunction with the Consultative Working Group on Cybersafety and sets out cybersafety and security events spanning a 12 month period. The calendar is a tool to assist organisations in considering the most appropriate timing for any events they are planning, and raising awareness and the promotion of upcoming events.
- Key cybersafety and security dates and events for 2013/2014 (PDF, 231.0 KB)
- Key cybersafety and security dates and events for 2013/2014 (DOC, 162.5 KB)
Teachers and Parents Advisory Group on Cybersafety (TAP)
The government has also established the Teachers and Parents Advisory Group on Cybersafety (TAP), based on advice from YAG members that teachers and parents need to be involved in cybersafety issues. The TAP provides an opportunity for teachers and parents across Australia to come together via a secure online forum to discuss cybersafety issues affecting children in the digital world. Membership to the TAP is open to all Australian teachers and parents. Teachers and parents can apply for membership here:
See more information at: