National Cyber Security Awareness Week

Written on the 20 June 2012

Last week was National Cyber Security Awareness Week. Cyberbullying, sexting and protecting a child's digital reputation are issues the Victorian government takes extremely seriously, and I am pleased to say Victoria has taken a leading role in this area. A number of initiatives to help counteract problems associated with online safety were announced by the Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, during Cyber Security Awareness Week. They include the Victorian government and Facebook teaming up to put together a virtual presentation on Facebook of safety and security for secondary school students.


The Alannah and Madeline Foundation has worked closely with the Victorian government to produce an online antibullying program whereby schools can become a certified eSmart school. This is part of the Victorian government's $10.5 million eSmart initiative, and so far in excess of 900 schools across the state have already signed up to become eSmart schools. That includes 81 special schools, because some children who attend special schools are particularly vulnerable in this area.


I am pleased to say that many students and their teachers are very aware of the impact of cybersecurity.


Last week, together with the member for Bentleigh in the Assembly, Elizabeth Miller, I joined the Minister for Education in visiting Valkstone Primary School in Bentleigh East, where we were shown the Australian Communications and Media Authority's award-winning film Respect the Internet. Congratulations to all the students who participated in the making of the film. The students made the film to raise their peers' awareness of cybersecurity.


Student input, school community support and the Victorian government's commitment and leadership in this area will go a long way to raise awareness about online safety and security. That combined effort will assist in reducing the online risks of the digital and online medium and will provide safer learning environments.

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