In support of the Australian Government's cybersafety plan, $2.3 million was made available over four years for ongoing research into the changing digital environment to identify issues and target future policy and funding.
A request for tender for the review of existing Australian and international cybersafety research was awarded through a competitive tender process to Edith Cowan University in early 2009. The report 'Review of Existing Australian and International Cybersafety research' reviews findings that indicate:
- that cyberbullying is emerging as a significant risk to cybersafety for young people
- cybergrooming and sexual solicitation are potentially the most serious of all cybersafety contact risks.
The report also indicates there are significant gaps in many areas of cybersafety research, particularly about Australian conditions and including cyberbullying and cybergrooming.
Australian Children's Cybersafey and E-security Project
The second research project is the undertaking of a repeatable survey instrument and methodology for data collection on the changes in awareness and behaviour in relation to cybersafety, and relevant e-security, risks.
The first component of this project is a survey of parents and carers on children's cybersafety and e-security issues. The results of the parents' survey provide valuable information to assist in understanding the nature and prevalence of risks facing children using the internet.
The key findings included:
- the majority of parents had implemented preventative measures to reduce the risks to their children when online and had spoken to their children about the risks involved
- almost one in two parents felt that that they were well-informed about cybersafety issues
- one in three parents was very concerned about the safety risks of their children when online.
- Australian Children's Cybersafety and E-Security Projectóreport on the results of a parents' survey (PDF, 520 KB)
- Australian Children's Cybersafety and E-Security Projectóreport on the results of a parents' survey (Word, 1.7 MB)
- Australian Children's Cybersafety and E-Security Projectóreport on the results of a parents' survey (RTF, 4.8 MB)
The second component of this project collected information from teachers on children's cybersafety experiences.
- Australian Children's Cybersafety and E-Security Projectóreport on the results of a teachers' survey (PDF, 3 MB)
- Australian Children's Cybersafety and E-Security Projectóreport on the results of a teachers' survey (Word, 1 MB)
The Australian Government will undertake similar surveys in the future that will track changes in levels of cybersafety awareness and behaviour.