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Helping parents at Christmas



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JOINT PRESS RELEASE

THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION MR. PAUL FLETCHER MHR, CHAIR OF THE COALITION’S ONLINE SAFETY WORKING GROUP

HELPING PARENTS AT CHRISTMAS

This Christmas we will see more electronic devices in the hands of Australian children than ever before.

Countless children across Australia will wake to find all kinds of electronic devices under the Christmas tree: smartphones, electronic tablets, MP3 players, iPad Minis and iPods, and gaming devices like the Playstation Vita, Xbox 360, Wii U and many other electronic devices.

Because of this technology, our children in the years ahead will experience more opportunity than ever before.

Almost all of these devices provide users with even more connections to the internet and opportunities to interact with others.

One of the key lessons of the Coalition’s Online Safety Working Group is that online safety is a responsibility for parents.

One of the best things parents can do to keep their children safe online is to learn about the technology their children use as a way of helping keep them safe.

To assist parents this Christmas, the Coalition’s Online Safety Working Group has developed an Online Safety for Parents Guide as well as Ten Tips for Parents to Keep Your Child Safe Online - including some of the best ideas we have picked up in talking with parents all around Australia.

This year the Online Safety Working Group has been talking with parents and teachers as well as consulting with experts and the Parents’ Guide and the Ten Tips for Parents provide practical help for parents.

These publications will help parents as they set appropriate limits on their child’s use of devices depending on the child’s age and maturity, as well as practical tips around such issues as password protection, internet filters on home computers and safety settings on search engines.

Our advice to parents is to learn about the item before they wrap the present. Play with it, find out what it can do, so that you can set the appropriate boundaries in place to protect your children.

With bicycles, skateboards and surfboards, we teach our children how to use them in a way that keeps them safe. Technology is no different.

There is no greater thrill for any parent or adult than watching children open presents at Christmas. Parents work extra shifts, they make sacrifices, so their children have the happiest Christmas memories. However, we all have to be smart and protect our children from online dangers.

The Parents’ Guide and the Ten Tips for Parents are available at www.liberal.org.au.

23 December 2012