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Kinders to teach cyber safety

Kindergartens will be urged to teach cyber safety to four-year-olds amid fears they could fall prey to online predators and bullies.
The Gillard Government will write to state education heads to encourage the take-up of cyber safety programs that teach children not to be mean online and keep their private information to themselves.
It comes amid revelations Victorian primary school children are "sexting" their friends and posting hate messages about their teachers on social networking sites.
A parliamentary committee report earlier this year recommended the Government consider the feasibility of helping deliver programs in preschools and kindergartens.
The Government yesterday accepted the recommendation in principle, but was waiting for a paper on cyber issues to be released in mid-2012 to give a detailed answer.
In the meantime, it will encourage use of Australian Communication and Media Authority programs, including Cybersmart for Young Kids.
It features a bottlenose dolphin called Hector Protector and his friends teaching young children to keep "special information" private and tell mum or dad if they see anything scary or upsetting online.
It also encourages children to share passwords with their parents and to "be nice" to others.
And parents can download a "safety button" that children can click on to cover up anything upsetting they see online with a friendly picture.
Cyber safety expert Susan McLean said flexible, compulsory education should begin as soon as children switched on a computer, from kindergarten onwards.
"I've seen cyber bullying in grade 2. I've seen kids buying things on the internet at age seven after their parents have told them not to. That's commonplace."


Herald Sun (21-12-2011)
Jessica Marszalek
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/kinders-to-teach-cyber-safety/story-fn7x8me2-1226227100476







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