Safer Internet Day is on February 9, 2021 and on this day the world comes together with a shared vision of making online experiences better for everyone.

Social media star and father-of-three, Jimmy Rees is doing his bit to raise awareness for keeping Australian kids safe online.

“The Internet is awesome but it can also be an unsafe place for kids,” says Jimmy, who shares three boys with his wife, Tori – five-year-old Lenny and two-year-old twins, Mack and Vinny.

“So start the chat about Internet safety with your little ones with this new book, Swoosh, Glide and Rule Number 5.”

Jimmy, with his wife, Tori and their three sons.

The picture book is available to download online from February 9 from esafety.gov.au. Set in the Australian bush, the story follows eSafety’s sugar glider twins as they learn good digital habits.

On Safer Internet Day at 9am, tune in online to watch funny guy and children’s entertainer, Jimmy Rees also known as Jimmy Giggle from Giggle and Hoot. read Swoosh, Glide and Rule Number 5.

If Jimmy looks familiar, it’s because he has developed a cult following on Tik Tok with hilarious parodies of kids, parenting and perhaps most famously, poking fun at Australia’s handling of  the COVID-19 crisis and the constant nit-picking between state premiers.

Jimmy’s videos have amassed 7.9 million likes on TikTok, where has almost 266,000 followers – plus 99,000 followers on Instagram and almost 300,000 on Facebook.

For more tips on how to keep kids safe online, see below.

How to keep kids safe online 

Steve Manley, Regional Vice President ANZ for global cybersecurity company, Palo Alto Networks suggests parents follow the below tips to keep our children safe online.

Make sure devices are protected with the latest software updates

While software updates are often remembered for seemingly pesky reminders, it only takes a few minutes while playing a significant role in keeping private information safe. Software updates often include critical fixes to security holes.

It’s a developer’s way of maintaining a programme; the same way we need to change a light bulb or replace a tap to keep things fresh and operating smoothly. Ensure your children are regularly updating their devices when software updates become available, avoiding bad procrastinating habits and opening an unintentional vulnerability.

Protect yourself with strong passwords

Passwords are among the most fundamental protection layers from fraud and identity theft in securing our online accounts. But there can also be a lot of pressure for kids to think up one they can still remember.

A strong password contains at least 15 characters, a mix of symbols, letters, and numerals, and has no personal information. Spend some time brainstorming ideas with your child to ensure they’re using strong passwords on all their online accounts.

Think about what you’re allowing before granting access

We teach our kids the importance of reading everything in a contract before they put down their signature, and the same circumstances should apply for online resources. Phishing attacks often aim to take advantage by imitating familiar online websites such as Netflix or Facebook.

Palo Alto Networks’ threat intelligence team Unit 42 found 450 of these ‘cybersquatting’ domains are created every day, aiming to profit from users’ typing mistakes. Before granting access or permissions, always review the website for any inaccuracies and make sure you trust the provider before sharing any information.

Use Parental Controls to your advantage

Parents have access to several tools they can implement to monitor and supervise their children’s online usage. Setting non-privileged accounts for each child, parents can control screen time, internet access permissions, blacklist harmful or inappropriate websites, and even control the installation of new apps to provide an additional layer of screening before reaching the hands of our children.

Native parental controls on phone and laptop devices are a great start, while some other add-ons and extensions can fully customise our children’s online browsing experience.

Have discussions about effective online safety

Having an honest, frank discussion with your child is one of the best ways to communicate the importance of online safety and instil cyber etiquette from a young age.

You might be surprised how much they already know from their own experience navigating online webpages. Starting conversations early is a great way to build good habits, while open and honest communication is key to establishing trust.

The internet is a powerful tool that has revolutionised how our children will navigate their own experiences and relationships. By helping them chart the safest pathways and teaching them the benefits of online etiquette, we can ensure that Aussie kids can enjoy all the internet has to offer while mitigating any risks to keep them secure.

Palo Alto invites Adelaide citizens to attend the Cyber Safe Kids Zone at Gawler Place in Rundle Mall to raise further awareness about the importance of child safety online. Attendees will meet our cyber heroes and check out the free Cyber Safe Kids kit between Wednesday 3 February and Saturday 13 February 2021. 

Find out more here