Online Safety for Year 7 students

This week, 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 have been advised of the age limit required to register for a social media account, the risks involved in posting content, and the importance of applying privacy settings.

Eyes Open Social Media Safety demonstrated that posting seemingly insignificant personal details can potentially allow people to do harm. 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 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 your privacy controls by choosing who can see the information on your social media accounts
  2. increase security to protect your accounts from other people logging in or hacking your account
  3. understand that there are potential dangers associated with posting inappropriate content and possible risks associated with 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. The presenter reported to BGGS that of the Year 7 publicly accessible social media profiles, the majority were changed overnight from public to private and unlinked to BGGS.

Thank you to Year 7 parents for supporting this presentation and helping us improve security and privacy. 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.

The eSafety Commissioner’s Term 2 webinar on parental controls helps parents learn about software tools and other strategies for taming technology at home. The webinar explores the benefits and limitations of parental controls and covers how to safely set up devices and popular games and apps like Roblox and Youtube. We encourage parents to access the resources and advice on the eSafety website (link) to support their child’s interactions online.

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