Parents worried about dealing with online risks

Less than half of Australian parents feel confident in dealing with online risks their kids may face, including cyber bullying and sexting.

And 95 per cent of mums and dads feel they need more information about online safety, according to an eSafety report.

The report, Parenting in the digital age, also found only one third (36%) of parents actively seek information on how to best manage situations like cyberbullying, unwanted contact or ‘sexting’ and ‘sending nudes’.

eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, says the findings reinforce the importance of providing resources to support parents and carers in managing conversations about online safety.

“We know dealing with online issues can be challenging for many parents. The issues are complex, nuanced and ever-changing and are different from what we experienced growing up,” she said.

“Australian parents need to know they are not alone in navigating this brave new online world and that there is constructive guidance to help them start the chat.”

The report also revels the varied parenting styles used to help manage online safety in the home.

Parents with older children are more likely to favour an open parenting style, providing guidance and advice.

Mums and dads with younger kids are more likely to adopt a restrictive approach by controlling online access and setting rules around internet-use.

Ms Inman Grant says there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

eSafety has guides to help adults understand online issues and trends so they can have informed discussions with their children about what they are experiencing.

“There is no substitute for being as engaged in our kids’ online lives the way we are in their everyday lives,” Ms Inman Grant said.

For tools, tips and advice on online safety, visit

Key findings of the report:
– 94% of parents agree their child’s online safety is important
– Parents are most concerned about exposure to inappropriate content; unwanted contact from strangers; being bullied online
– Only 46% of parents feel confident dealing with online risks their kids might face
– Only one third of parents actively seek out info on how to manage online safety
– 95% of parents agree they need additional online safety information