Cyber safety tips

The thoughts of what your child might come across online can be worrying. Check out our internet safety advice to make sure going online is a positive experience for you and your child. 

The Internet can be great for kids. They can use it to research school reports, communicate with teachers and other kids, and play interactive games.

But online access also comes with risks, like inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and online predators. Parents should be aware of what their kids see and hear online, who they meet, and what they share about themselves. Talk with your kids, use tools to protect them, and keep an eye on their activities.

Accessing inappropriate content

Depending on the age of your child, you may wish to restrict access on your device to the kids’ version of apps such as YouTube and Google, as this will block adult content.

There are many filtering apps on the market that let parents restrict content (e.g., Optus has one with McAfee). This is a good opportunity to discuss being respectful online. Optus has lots of free downloadable/watchable resources for parents through the Optus Digital Thumbprint Program.

It covers how to set up privacy settings and block strangers etc. on popular social media platforms, as unfortunately children can be exposed to receiving explicit/sexualised content if strangers can contact them. 

Optus runs free Digital Thumbprint workshops in schools. You as a parent could ask for this too. There are facilitator-led workshops as well as digital workshops that can be done remotely by students. Bookings needs to be made by a school

Tips for parents

  • The use of computers, laptops or any internet enabled devices (iPad, phone, iPod, Xbox etc.) should be in a common area of the house, not in a bedroom.
  • Monitoring is vital – walk past and see what your child is doing, who they are talking to and what sites they are on.
    Have a family internet contract and set house rules about what information your child can put onto websites or share with others.
  • Make sure that your children understand that they will not get in trouble if they tell you about a problem.
  • Install filters and other monitoring/blocking software to minimise dangers. This is done in schools, but we advise parents to have up to date filtering software installed at home.
  • Children must  be 13 and over to use Facebook, Instagram,, Snapchat, iTunes and other websites/apps. Please do not support or encourage your child to break the rules. 

If you need more help

If your child has seen something that makes them uncomfortable, we recommend contacting Kids Helpline, as they provide free and confidential advice to children 5- 25 years.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is an important government body that has legislative power to instruct websites and platforms to take down offensive content, as well as cyberbullying and other types of image-based abuse.

Last updated Thursday 11th April 2024