In a few short clicks, children can enter a digital world where they ‘chat with random strangers online’. That is the tagline for Omegle, an online platform established in 2009, which allows anyone to video share with strangers from around the world for free with no registration process.
Last week, I’m sure many of our BGGS parents watched the Channel 10 television show, Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate, during which host, Todd Sampson, highlighted how easy it can be for children to be exploited on this platform. ‘It’s not moral panic, it’s reality’, Sampson said, and it is, indeed, a stark warning for parents.
While our generation of children have grown up in the digital age, whether we like it or not, do they really know who they are talking to?
In light of this documentary, Safe on Social also released a notice on how face filters have the ability to trick children, allowing anyone to alter or hide their appearance.
Safe on Social has created a useful guide for parents, which can be accessed via this link.
As Dean of Students, parents often remark to me that they would like to know more, and understand, their child’s use of technology, with many looking for help once challenges emerge online. There is a wealth of information and helpful resources that can be found via eSafety, including a video that explains the purpose of software tools and options for parents.
There are also free eSafety webinars available for parents and carers, including an upcoming guide to digital technologies and mental health on Thursday 27 October.
Ms Melinda Egan
Dean of Students