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Monday, 17 December 2018 08:28

Govt releases another $17m for kids' e-safety programs

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Govt releases another $17m for kids' e-safety programs Pixabay

The Federal Government has released another $17 million towards an online safety package for children, which includes an education package and resources for parents and carers of kids under five.

The money will also fund an online safety research program and the development of an Online Safety Charter for digital platforms.

In a statement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "We must all work together to ensure the safety of our youngest Australians online, including parents, social media companies and the community.

"Nothing can be more important than protecting our children and in many cases this means defending them from dangers in the online environment."

The Online Safety Charter will be developed after consulting parents, stakeholders and social media and digital platform companies. It will outline the government's expectations for industry when it comes to protecting children online.

A draft of the Charter will be developed over the summer and the final version will be released in 2019. A new research program will underpin initiatives to keep children and other vulnerable Australians safe online.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said: "Our new Online Safety Charter will clearly set out our expectations of industry. We will consult with the sector, stakeholders and most importantly parents over coming months to develop the Charter.

"Businesses who interact with children in the real world have to meet high standards of safety and digital businesses should be treated no differently.

"This generation is the first to be immersed in the digital world. There is much we don't know, and as technology evolves we are funding more research to improve online safety."

Education Minister Dan Tehan said: "We know how difficult it can be and how it can feel like it is too hard to take control but parents should be reassured that it is never too early — or too late — to start teaching responsible cyber-safe behaviour.

"That's why we are developing a new awareness campaign and funding new resources to help parents make sensible and safe choices about their kids' technology use from their very first exposure."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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