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Australian children are immersing themselves in the online world through social media sites, online games, smartphones and tablets. However, it is an unfortunate consequence that this leaves them vulnerable to harmful content and malicious and illegal online activities.

The Australian Government recognises online safety is an important area of responsibility, especially for parents and teachers, and support is required so they are better equipped to protect children online.

The Government has committed to a range of measures to help protect Australian children online. These include:

  • Establishing a Children's e-Safety Commissioner to take a national leadership role in online safety for children.
  • Implementing a legislative based complaints system for the fast removal of material from large social media sites that is harmful or distressing to a child.
  • Investigating options for a simplified cyberbullying offence.
  • In consultation with industry, improving safety options on smartphones, other devices and internet access services. This includes making available software which parents can choose to install to help protect children from inappropriate content.
  • Establishing an advice platform with guidelines for parents about appropriateness of individual media items for children.
  • Improved support for schools through a stronger online safety component within the National Safe Schools Framework, establishing a voluntary process for the certification of online safety programs to be offered in schools, and funding for schools for the provision of online safety programs.
  • Providing funding to support Australian based research and information campaigns on online safety.

On 22 January 2014, the Department of Communications released a public discussion paper seeking comment on several of the above measures. Submissions in response to the discussion paper were due by 7 March 2014. Further details about the consultation process are available on the Public consultation on Enhancing Online Safety for Children page.

The Government's other online safety measures include:

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