If you’re like me, you recently received a packet in the Post introducing the federal government’s new NetAlert project. The Prime Minister is to be commended for his active approach to online safety. Notes can be sent to the Prime Minister by email or Post from here.
I found it interesting that his letter of introduction addressed many of the exact same issues we at GMT have been dealing with over the last several years in the context of our forums. In fact, the letter was so good that I wanted to reproduce parts of it:
The internet is a window on the world that has transformed the way we communicate. Properly harnessed, it has enormous potential as a tool for education, entertainment, interaction and global engagement.
Just like the real world, though, there is a lot on the World Wide Web that you wouldn’t want your children to see or be a part of. Offensive materials are just a few mouse clicks away and not everyone your children meet online can be trusted.
Importantly, we must recognise that while the free services we are providing, such as customisable filters, a web portal and a contact centre, will be useful tools for families, traditional parenting methods are more important than ever. I encourage parents to discuss online safety with each other and with other carers of their children including teachers, baby sitters and grandparents, but most importantly, let’s start the conversation with your children.