Game with your kids, tech expert suggests

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Playing games like Fortnite with your children instead of banning them could be a better way to teach them about online safety, an expert says.

New data released today suggests seven-in-10 parents worry their children won't know how to respond when they find themselves in dangerous situations online.

The poll of 1035 Australian parents commissioned by a security software company also suggested most parents are worried their children will face abuse online.

"Just telling them to be safe online is not really showing them what they should be doing," Symantec spokesman Mark Gorrie told AAP.

"We'd encourage parents to spend time online with kids, it could be as simple as playing games together online.

"It just throws up opportunities to say 'hey, see this ad injected into the game, you should be careful with these kinds of links''."

Australia's eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant says while internet safety is a new challenge, the skills, values and behaviours that parents and teachers can teach children are not too different from what they were taught growing up.

That is, displaying respect and responsibility, building resilience and applying critical reasoning to identify whether something is being deceptive.

"Kids are very deft with technology but they don't have the judgement or reasoning to be able to withstand some of the issues they are likely to encounter," she told AAP.

The federal government-funded eSafety office, the only one of its type in the world, has signed up Australia Post, Woolworths and 500 other Australian companies to help promote Safer Internet Day today.

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