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Protecting children online

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The internet has revolutionised the world in terms of accessibility. We can now read the newspaper online, buy our groceries, bank online and even chat to people on the other side of the world. The benefits of the internet are extensive, though caution should be exercised as with all interactive media.

Perhaps the most vulnerable users of the internet are children. There have been wide-spread cases whereby children have been manipulated and mislead by online information. In response to these cases the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Microsoft Australia have joined forces to launch a ThinkUKnow campaign on internet safety for kids. This campaign is designed to assist teachers, parents and carers in protecting children in the online world of Facebook/Myspace and instant messaging.

The campaign website has a variety of information available, from what adolescents access online and what you can do to protect them, to how you can report inappropriate information or behaviour.

While this campaign is designed for parents, carers and teachers the AFP intends on developing materials for young people, to educate them on the risks of online interaction and how to protect themselves.

Go to the website for more information on this educational campaign - www.thinkuknow.org.au