Australian cops to enter kindergartens to teach kids not to cyber

Children as young as four will be given training in identifying suspicious online behaviour.

How to avoid common email mistakes ZDNet
(Image: Klimkin)

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) will enter the nation's infants schools to train children in online stranger danger, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor announced on Tuesday.

Citing an increase in "younger children accessing technology, and law enforcement seeing incidents involving younger victims", Taylor said the AFP would extend its ThinkUKnow cybersafety program to children in kindergarten.

"We need to get on top of this and fast," Taylor said in a statement. "Our law-enforcement agencies are seeing shocking incidents of children as young as four producing sexually explicit material, uploading it to social media, and subsequently engaging with online child sex offenders.

"As a parent, these reports are deeply concerning. We need to closely supervise our young children online, and we also need to ensure they are taught how to identify suspicious online behaviour and how to block and report offensive apps and sites."

The ThinkUKnow program is delivered by state and territory police forces and developed by the AFP, Commonwealth Bank, Datacom, and Microsoft Australia.

Taylor said the content created for the program's ninth year will focus on "self-produced child exploitation material, grooming of children through online apps and games, and for young children the importance of adult supervision."

In May, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security Alastair MacGibbon told ZDNet that cyber education needs to begin in primary school.

"For me, being a successful person in my generation was being able to read and write and do basic maths," MacGibbon said. "What is going to get our kids to be successful in this world is the concept of computation, coding, and communication.

"If we're going to win when it comes to protecting the Australian way of life, in terms of cybersecurity, then it indeed starts in primary schools."

Related Coverage

Security flaws in children's smartwatches make them vulnerable to hackers

It's another IoT security flaw - attackers can hack smartwatches to monitor the wearer's location, eavesdrop on conversations or even communicate with the child.

Disney faces privacy complaint over children's apps

The class-action complaint alleges Disney's smartphone game apps have been collecting personally identifiable information about young users without the consent of their parents for the purpose of targeted advertising.

Melbourne startup makes STEM more engaging for kids with 'science cookies' (TechRepublic)

The Project Counter is using interactive gingerbread cookies in an effort to inspire young Australians to take an interest in STEM subjects.

Could kids raised by tablets save cybersecurity in the UK? (TechRepublic)

Robert Hannigan, the former head of GCHQ, recently urged parents to let their children spend more time online in order to help the country develop better cyber skills.

Is Germany right to tell parents to destroy kids' smartwatches over snooping fears?

After banning smart dolls, Germany now says no to smartwatches that allow parents to listen in on classrooms.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All