Week 3 – Digital Security

This week’s topic is about digital security – how does events such as scams, identity theft, cyber bullying or Facebook happen and what can we as individuals to protect ourselves and as teachers in helping students do the same?

When I first read the term ‘scams’ and ‘identity theft’, I immediately related this to my own personal experience with online shopping. Last year, I was on the internet trying to find the ‘best price’ available for a GoPro camera as a birthday gift for my boyfriend. I stumbled across a website that looked similar to other well known websites such as Kogan and GraysOnline. Needless to say, this website turned out to be scam website which costed me $300 without receiving the goods. Reflecting back on this event, there were three important steps during this process that I could have done to prevent getting scammed:

  1. I was running out of time searching for a gift and overlooked warning signs including no padlock symbol in the browser frame, payment terms were by credit card and bank transfer only. Naively, I decided upon bank transfer thinking that this would not cause delays in delivery time. This also meant that I have given away my name, address and personal banking details to the fraudster.
  2. The price was too good to be true as it was approximately 25% cheaper than retail prices.
  3. Thinking twice and using some common sense would have helped.
Internet fraud concept.


Rather than retreating and avoiding online shopping due to this costly event, I decided to educate myself on safe online shopping and learnt helpful tips to ensure a safer shopping experience.

Researching on the topic of ‘scams’ and ‘identify theft’, the Australia Bureau of Statistics estimated from 2010 to 2011 approximately 1.2 million Australians aged 15 years and over were victims of personal fraud and incurred a lost of $1.4 billion. It is evident that scams and frauds, including identity theft are common threats to adults. Furthermore, social media such as Facebook has been an easy target for scammers to bait users into clicking links that contains malicious software in order to access personal details. This is also known as ‘clickjacking‘. Considering that adults are frequently exposed and falling victims to the dangers of cyber crime, children who are already using Youtube, email, Google and online games can be vulnerable targets of cyber criminals.

I researched further on the role of the Australian government in relation to digital security. In the 2014-15 budget, the Government committed $10 million to enhance online safety for children, of which $7.5 million will be used to assist schools to access accredited online safety programmes. Although details of these online safety programmes are yet to be announced, the Cybersmart programme, managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has reached out to 3438 schools since the program started.

The Cybersmart website a variety of resources and lesson plans available on the website to assist schools and educators. In particular, I discovered that Hector’s World is a very useful resource that can help educators introduce the concepts of digital security to young children in a format that they are familiar with. I was highly entertained by each episode as the storyline was easy to follow and characters were interactive. As children are born in a digital world, I strongly believe that it is important for me to prepare young children with foundation skills to becoming a future responsible and diligent digital citizen,


Hector’s World – Introducing digital security to young children


Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011). Children of the digital revolution. Retrieved from http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/subscriber.nsf/LookupAttach/4102.0

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012). Snapshot of personal fraud. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/65767D57E11FC149CA2579E4

Australian Government Department of Communications (n.d.). Online safety. Retrieved from http://www.communications.gov.au/online_safety_and_security/cyber_safety

Cincotta, K. (2014, September 4). Online scammers just a click away. Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/consumer-security/online-scammers-just-a-click-away-20140903-1084kg.html

Cybersmart (n.d.). Cybersmart 2013 – Report card. Retrieved from http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/About%20Cybersmart/What%20is%20Cybersmart

Cybersmart (n.d.). Hector’s world. Retrieved from http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Schools/Teacher%20resources/Lower%20

Mcafee (n.d.). Safe online shopping. Retrieved from http://home.mcafee.com/advicecenter/?id=ad_sos_wmap&ctst=1