Contributed

Two hours a day online - an open door to trouble for kids

AUSTRALIAN children are online for an average of two hours each day, among the highest internet usage rates in the world.

The research of parents with children aged 10-17 was commissioned by Telstra.

It showed the top three concerns for parents of children using the internet were protecting personal information, exposure to inappropriate content and cyber-bullying.

Telstra's digital inclusion general manager, Jill Riseley, said that with so many children online so often it was important for parents to teach their kids how to be good digital citizens.

"The research shows that on average kids are spending 14 hours online a week and the family home is the most common place kids are doing this," Ms Riseley said.

"We found that three-quarters of parents have rules for their children's internet use with access to certain websites, use of certain apps or games, and limits on the amount of online time spent each day all being regulated in some way.

"While these rules will help protect children from inappropriate content and create a balance between participating online and being active during the day, these days online safety is more than just using security software and passwords, it involves the actual ethics of being online and respect for others."

Ms Riseley said the best way for parents to teach children respect for others and protect them against cyber-bullying was to find out what they did on social media sites and be involved in their online world.

 

>> KEEPING KIDS SAFE ONLINE

  • Be involved - talk to your kids and find out what they do in their digital lives. Try out your kids' favourite apps and websites.
  • Model good behaviour - Set a positive example for your kids by turning off your devices and practicing safe and responsible behaviour.
  • Set time limits - establish clear rules about the amount of time kids can spend on their devices each day.
  • Encourage a balance - support your kids' offline activities.
  • Play respectfully - Remind kids not to say mean things. If they wouldn't do it offline, don't do it online!
  • Watch your steps - remind kids that what you do online today can be used against you tomorrow. So keep it private or don't do it...a digital footprint has consequences.


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