Keep youth safe online with the ‘4Rs’
On Safer Internet Day 2019, on 5 February, the Anglican Schools Commission hosted an online event with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner (OESC) for Anglican school students in Years 4-6. 11 schools participated in the event across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The session targeted the ‘4Rs’ of cyber safety: respect, responsibility, resilience and reasoning. These are the tenets for everyday digital life and here are a few tips to help you.
Remember the ‘Golden Rule’ to show others respect and you will earn their respect. Be polite and use good manners when you post, comment or send a message. The proverb, ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’, also holds true in the online world, including on social media. Negative and demeaning social media comments have ‘no class’.
You can show ‘class’ online by:
- Being Authentic – just be yourself, including acting appropriately, being polite and using manners.
- Being Patient – take a breath and wait and take a step back.
- Don’t pretend – if you do not know something, go ask your parents, a teacher or another responsible trusted adult.
- Praise others – if it is deserved, recognise it and don’t gossip behind people’s backs, as your words count and you decide if you are going to have a positive or negative impact.
The government’s eSafety website has a range of helpful resources if you would like more information, including I respect differences.
Take ownership of what you say and where you leave digital footprints. There is no such thing as true anonymity online and your actions may be traced back to you.
Taking responsibility includes:
- Owning it – don’t take privacy for granted, as you don’t know what people will do with what you post, and your posts can be traced, copied and reposted elsewhere, which may come back to haunt you in years to come.
- Sharing it – if you are concerned, talk to a trusted and responsible adult (such as your parents or carers), and add to the home screen of your device the OESC’s Wellbeing Directory and Kids Helpline.
- Value it – develop the knowledge and skills you need online, for example by accessing the OESC’s starter’s guide to staying safe called Online Journey, available for both Apple and Android, as well as information for parents at iParent, lesson plans for teachers to help with their classes and OESC eSafetyWomen
The government’s eSafety website has a range of helpful resources if you would like more information, including on I am responsible.
Walk your own path online and soar with the BIRDS:
- Block – know how to block others in the apps, games and social media you use.
- Ignore – you don’t have to respond and you can mute as well.
- Report – know how to report bad behaviour.
- Don’t feed the trolls – they want you to respond and will then react.
- Share – talk to a responsible adult about what you can do, as you are not alone.
Helpful online resources include the OESC’s I get back up.
Question it. Don’t believe everything online, as a lot of content has no fact checking. You can think about the five W’s to conduct online searches to determine who, what, where, when and why it was posted?
Verify it. Check the content and ask if it is:
- Misinformation – is it accurate or does it leave the facts or truth out?
- Disinformation – is it manipulated or has it changed the context of the information?
- Malinformation – is it fabricated to hurt someone or benefit another’s side?
Source it. Check the source, date and author’s credentials, and look at the URL, location and companies (where does it come from?).
Helpful online resources include the OESC’s I question things.