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Time for a digital health check

According to a recent survey - 94% of teenagers and 67% of primary school age children have a smart device. But here's what you might not know. A study from the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne has found that one third of pre-primary children have a mobile screen device.

Christmas has come and gone and increasingly there were many more tech gadgets under the tree. So it’s now time to do a thorough digital health check.

No matter what their age, kids are spending more time on their screens and devices, and whilst it may look like your kids are playing just an online video game, there is more risk of random people contacting children now days than ever before.

It’s easy to miss the signs as devices can become digital security blankets. With children consumed with playing the games it can often be a case of out of sight, out of mind.

With the surge of online gaming growing into a potential Olympic sport in 2024 and more children playing it, it presented new risks with network games often involving multiple players and sometimes even 100,000 players at a time.

 So, here are some tips to tell you children how to stay safe:

  • Not to share personal information

  • Not to use an avatar or screen name that reveals your real name

  • Do not talk to other players in private chat or game mode

  • Parents need to monitor children carefully as to what platforms and games they are spending time on. 

  • For younger children, now is a good idea to do a digital audit of all their connections to highlight any red flag relationships, especially on social channels.

  • Keep up with regular patches and developer updates to help combat hackers

  • Get a password manager to keep your passwords secure – it strengthens and keeps track of all your logins and gives you a master list

  • Be careful when accessing public wifi as hackers use this as a way to access information and sometimes have logins that can even look like your local shopping centre public wifi - but is not

  • Never do anything apart from browse on a public wifi platform

  • For health and lifestyle balance, monitor how much free time you allow your children to have with gaming and social media access each day.

It is paramount that young people have the skills and awareness needed to protect themselves online. 

Screen Name 

This performance incursion for upper primary students is set in the world of online gaming. It encourages students to analyse the potential risks of talking to strangers online, and the dangers of revealing personal information. This incursion is FREE to WA schools. Click here to learn more. 

 

Isolation

This interactive theatre workshop for secondary students examines bullying and cyberbullying. Students collaborate with the actors to problem-solve and devise their own strategies to these challenging issues. This incursion is FREE to WA schools. Click here to learn more. 

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