Our Year 7 and 8 students recently participated in a webinar on online safety where they heard from Susan McLean, a former police officer who has worked extensively in the area of cyber safety and educating young people about staying safe in their online interactions. It was wonderful to see so many students engaging in the session and asking Susan questions about social media, cyber security and how to report issues of online abuse.
Year 7 students then participated in a follow up discussion in their Skills for Learning lessons, where they had the opportunity to reflect on what they had learned from the session and ask other questions that it raised for them.
In feedback from the students, many said they were surprised at how quickly and easily the information they share online can be accessed by others, including things that they thought were private. Students were also surprised to hear how common it is for young people to be misled or harassed by others online. It was encouraging that several students reported making changes to the privacy settings of their social media accounts because of what they learned from the webinar.
We encourage all families to keep the conversations about online safety going at home, and for Year 7 and 8 parents in particular to discuss the session with their daughters and ask them questions about their own presence online and the changes that they can make to keep themselves and others safe online.
As shared in a previous newsletter article, the new Online Safety Act will come into effect next year. A useful fact sheet about the new Act and the changes from current legislation can be found here.