Gladstone, it’s time to start conversations about how children and teenagers are using mobile devices and social media.
Welcome! This is the first in a series of posts we will be compiling about this topic.
It is incredibly important that parents and guardians are given tools to help their children safely navigate the online world.
Take a moment to think about your child’s relationship with their mobile device and what it looks like in your family, and in your home.
Whilst mobile devices and the internet aren’t all bad, our School Based Police Officer (SBPO) in Gladstone, Senior Constable Sarah Box certainly experiences the negative impacts on a regular basis.
These issues will be highlighted throughout the series.
But where do we start?
“One of my messages to young people about their mobile devices and how they use them, is that having a phone or an iPad is a privilege and not a right – especially if the device is paid for by a parent or guardian. They should therefore be using them appropriately,” said Senior Constable Box.
It is important that this message is echoed at home and below are some things to consider.
- If your child has a mobile device or devices, do they have passcodes? Do you know what the passcodes are?
- Are you aware of who your child is socialising with online and what apps and games they are using
- How often is your child using mobile devices and where do they do so? Is it in an open area of the home, or are they locked away in a bedroom for hours on end?
Research by the Commonwealth eSafety Commissioner has identified that 1 in 4 children have been approached by a stranger online.
This is why supervision and being aware of your child’s online footprint is so important.
These points are a good start and hopefully will encourage some conversations at home!
Open communication is key to keeping children safe in this space. Keep an eye out for our next post in this series.
If you’re interested in more resources on this topic, check out the following websites:
If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting.
Report crime information anonymously via Crime Stoppers. Call 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestoppersqld.com.au.