School’s back, or its back soon – that’s the story across Australia and as we head into another year of playground shenanigans plenty of parents are more worried about what’s happening online than in the playground – and probably with good reason

Norton have released the Family Edition of their Cyber Security Insights Report which encourages parents to openly discuss issues likely issues such as cyberbullying with their kids and gives us an insight into what parents are thinking in this space.

It’s no shock to me or anyone that 64 percent of parents allow their kids to access the internet before 11 in Australia – it’s almost a requirement from the early years of school anyway.

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But the playground bullying that’s a worry on everyone’s mind has been joined by Cyber bullying – with more than half of Aussie parents believing their kids are more likely to be bullied online than in the playground.

“Children today face threats beyond physical violence or face-to-face encounters,” said Gavin Lowth, Vice President, Consumer Business Unit, Asia Pacific and Japan, Symantec. “Cyberbullying is a growing issue and parents are struggling to identify and respond to this threat. A concern for many parents is that cyberbullying doesn’t stop when their child leaves school – as long as your child is connected to a device, a bully can connect to them.”

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On top of that parents were concerned their kids might download a virus, disclose too much information online or be lured into meeting a stranger in the physical world.

And it wasn’t just about the individuals, parents worry kids will do something that could make the whole family vulnerable, embarrass them or even hurt future job or university prospects.

Good news? We’re thinking more about and finding ways to prevent or work with the issues.

  • 38 percent parents chose to check their child’s browser history
  • 36 percent only allow access to certain websites
  • 35 percent allow Internet access only with parental supervision; 37 percent review and approve all apps before they are downloaded
  • 37 percent enable Internet access only in household common areas
  • 31 percent limit information they post about their children on social profiles and 26 percent set parental controls through home routers

This is a start, it’s not the total answer, but these are some simple great ideas that individually can help and as a group could create a very stable cyber situation.

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Norton highlight in their report that only 10 percent of parents reported their child was cyberbullied – and that makes the problem look small – more likely they just don’t know its going on, because they’re not talking about this with their kids. Talking about this and being educated as a family is the first big step to protecting your kids.

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Norton’s website for tip on starting an open conversation that is easier for both parents and children is online at