• PM Julia Gillard has flagged a new national approach to deal with violence in suburban Australia.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has launched a new cyber-safety initiative, to be rolled out to more than 3,000 schools across Australia.
By
staff

UPDATED 10:48 AM - 26 Aug 2013

Cyberwise, a school program put together by computer company McAffee and Life Education - the team behind Happy Healthy Harold - was launched in Western Sydney and backed by the Prime Minister.

The PM says the program will help teachers to empower children to be safe and respectful internet-users.

"It's very sensible practical information about who you would share the very secret and sensitive things with," the PM said.

"Online risks are growing every day. We have to acknowledge the influence the digital world has on our children and help prepare them in being proficient to manage these risks', said McAfee Asia Pacific President Andrew Littleproud.

Recent studies into how kids use the internet have revealed some alarming facts.

-66.5% of kids say their parents have no idea what they get up to online.
-40% of teens actively hide what they do from their parents.
-The average teen opens their first social media account, usually Facebook, at age 13.
-50% say they have seen cruel behaviour online
-24% say they have been victims of cyber-bullying themselves.

"While generally used in a positive fashion, digital technology poses a range of risks to the safety and wellbeing of young users," said Life Education Australia CEO David Ballhausen.