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Teaching Year 7 students about online safety

In Semester 1, Year 7 students participated in an interactive session presented by Eyes Open Social Media Safety. The purpose of this presentation was to build on the foundations of the Year 7 Ethics program during which students are advised of the age limit required to register for a social media account, being careful when posting content, and the importance of applying privacy settings.

Eyes Open Social Media Safety demonstrated how posting insignificant personal details can potentially have negative consequences. They also highlighted the importance of using privacy settings on social media accounts to reduce risks when interacting in the digital world. Students were asked to reflect on their personal ‘safe’ use of social media and were given steps they could take immediately to increase the privacy of their social media profiles (if they have them) to significantly reduce their online risk. Scenarios and real case studies were shared highlighting the dangers of posting inappropriate content and possible risks associated with an individual’s digital footprint.

The key takeaways for Year 7 girls were to:

  1. increase privacy controls by choosing who can see the information on social media accounts
  2. increase security to protect accounts from other people logging in or hacking account
  3. understand the potential risks associated with posting inappropriate content and leaving a digital footprint
  4. know how to respond to lies and rumours online
  5. understand the steps to take if a fake profile is created using your name—

BGGS is aware that not all Year 7 students have a phone or access to social media accounts, but the key takeaways were helpful for these students before they consider engaging on social media. For our Year 7 students who do have social media accounts, it was found that the presentation was effective in lowering risk and increasing protective measures.

It is important our young people have the skills and knowledge about how to maximise their enjoyment online and reduce any potential risk when interacting in the digital world.

Ms Melinda Egan, Dean of Students
Mrs Sally Callie, Year 7 Advisor