New research reveals the important “talk” parents should be having with their kids

It seems we all have a bit to learn about how to protect ourselves and the ones we love,  writes Harry Tucker. Here are some ideas about what you can do.

Just as you would lock your front door when leaving your home or ensure your children’s seat belts are on before driving, cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important element of our personal and family security, with many parents being forced to rethink their family’s safety online.

New research conducted by Telstra found 91% of Aussie parents are currently concerned about their children’s safety and security online, with over six in ten (63%) being extremely concerned.

Four in five (79%) parents say they have had a ‘talk’ with their children about cyber security and how to stay safe online, with half (49%) noting they talk about this matter a lot. But despite this, almost one-third (31%) of Aussie parents of children aged 5-17 years say they aren’t sure/have no idea where their kids spend time online.

It isn’t just kids’ online activity that needs to be monitored. Parents are encouraged to monitor their own online behaviour to better protect their families against potential threats.

Just last month, French members of Parliament began debating an ‘anti-sharenting’ bill, ‘sharenting‘ is the trend of parents posting content of their children on social media. The proposed law seeks to make parents responsible for the privacy rights of their children who cannot consent to their images being uploaded online.

And Aussie parents are also guilty of ‘sharenting’… According to Telstra’s Australian research, more than three in five (63%) parents of children under the age of 18 admit to having posted photos of their children on a social media account that is not private or on which they have followers they don’t know.

With many Aussies not knowing how their families are at risk or what to look out for, Telstra’s Cyber Security Expert and a father to two children, Darren Pauli, has provided a rundown of some of 2023’s most popular scam tactics and his tips and tricks for families to help keep safe online including:

  • Review content, including your kids, before posting; are they wearing a school uniform? Are you sitting at a local cafe? Have you tagged your location? These are all identifiable details, and it’s best to keep these private. Look to post photos that don’t highlight personal details.
  • In addition, it’s important to be aware of popular scam tactics targeted at children or that children are more susceptible to. Some of these include:
    • offering a fake Australia Post delivery
    • transport card and toll scams
    • fraudulent ‘important’ or ‘urgent’ messages from an Australian bank.

For more information on how to be more scam-aware, visit here.