Children as young as four will be included in the federal government’s cyber safety training program to respond to fears of online sexual predators.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) will extend the ThinkUKnow cyber safety training program to include children in kindergarten and year one and two.
In addition to combating dangers of self-produced sexually explicit material, the program is set to have information on grooming of children through online apps and games and the importance of adult supervision.
“Our law enforcement agencies are seeing shocking incidents of children as young as four producing sexually explicit material, uploading it to social media, and subsequently engaging with online child sex offenders,” Cybersecurity Minister Angus Taylor said.
AFP received more than 10,000 reports of child exploitation material in 2017.
Also in 2017, the e-Safety Commission found that up to 50 per cent of children were sharing photos of their faces online. Six per cent of those shared their phone number or address online.
The Commission added that the cyber report team are continuously being “flooded by images of kids as young as four to five”.
“Children are being approached through games that are age appropriate but perhaps parents don’t realise have a chat functionality that online sexual predators can actually approach them and groom them to do certain things,” Australian Federal Police National Coordinator for Exploited Children, Jayne Crossling said.
Lois Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
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