Conroy launches re-jigged cyber safety site

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More detail on internet filtering for teachers and parents.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has re-launched its Cybersmart web site, with the emphasis shifting to providing school teachers with tools to protect children using internet technologies in the classroom.

The front page of the Cybersmart.gov.au web site now directs users to several sub-sites based on the user - with one site specific to "kids", another specific to "young kids", another for parents, another for teenage users, and a "schools gateway" for teachers.

ACMA says the schools gateway provides teaching resources, education department guidelines, and online booking for ACMA's free "Cybersafety Outreach Program' - through which ACMA advisors provide teachers with on-site training and accreditation around cyber safety issues.

"This website will provide parents, teachers, trainee teachers, librarians and children with up-to-date, comprehensive and age-appropriate online cybersafety resources and assistance," said Communications Minister Stephen Conroy upon launching the site.

The content on the remainder of the site remains relatively unchanged. But ACMA has moved to provide more detail to parents and teachers around filtering technologies.

Among 15 other tools listed under "keeping your computer secure", ACMA has broken out new sections on "PC filters" and "Server-level filters".

"The Government is examining the introduction of ISP filtering for material that is deemed Refused Classification (RC) in accordance with the National Classification Scheme and the ACMA complaints process," the site reads. "Content defined as RC predominantly comprises of child sexual abuse imagery. The Government is also considering additional ISP filtering options for those families who wish to have such a service."

ACMA continues to warn parents, however, not to rely on filters alone.

"Remember, internet filters are no substitute for parental guidance and supervision," the site reads. "No filtering tool can block all unsuitable material. As the internet is vast and constantly changing, lists of blocked sites must be continuously updated for the filter to work effectively. Even then, some undesirable sites may still slip through the filter."


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