Conroy spruiks Safer Internet Day

More than 7500 students in 88 Australian schools are taking part in global cyber safety campaign

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), together with Senator Stephen Conroy, have launched Safer Internet Day, an initiative designed to encourage cyber safety.

ACMA will run interactive activities and deliver presentations in schools across Australia on 7 February as well as promote cyber safety material through industry and community partners. More than 7500 students in 88 schools across Australia are taking part in the day.

Senator Conroy said that the federal government had launched an Easy Guide to Socialising Online paper for schools which provides information on the cyber safety features of 26 different social networking websites, search engines and online games. It also features general tips when using any social media website.

"The government also provides a Cyber safety Help Button that provides a one-stop-shop for cyber safety information and advice which can be downloaded onto personal devices and onto school and library networks," he said in a statement.

In addition, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has begun its yearly cyber safety campaign called ThinkUKnow. The campaign is a partnership between the AFP and Microsoft. It involves presentations to students, parents and teachers by trained volunteers and specialist AFP officers.

The ThinkUKnow website includes information on how to protect personal privacy by not posting personal information online such as birth dates or where children attend school.

Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice, Jason Clare, said in a statement that Australian research shows 17.4 per cent of children have experienced at least one issue relating to cyber safety.

An Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) study released this week found small businesses are not immune either. According to the results, 16 per cent of Australian small businesses don't use anti-virus software and 30 per cent don't use a protective firewall.

Seventy-five per cent of those who experienced security incidents reported adverse consequences including loss of data, unavailability of service and an average financial loss of $2,431.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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