Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:31

Optus takes ‘stay safe online’ message to Wide Bay schools

Optus Territory General Manager for Wide Bay, Mungo O’Brien and students from Riverside Christian College participating in Optus’ Digital Thumbprint Program. Optus Territory General Manager for Wide Bay, Mungo O’Brien and students from Riverside Christian College participating in Optus’ Digital Thumbprint Program.

 Students across schools in the Wide Bay region of Queensland are having their online safety skills boosted with participation in the Optus’ Digital Thumbprint Program, a free in-school program that supports young people to be safe, responsible and positive online.

Over the course of this week, more than 800 students from schools across Wide Bay including Riverside Christian College, Urangan Point State School, Bundaberg State High School, St Luke’s Anglican College and One Mile State School are taking part in the Optus’ Digital Thumbprint program which aims to equip them with simple and effective tools for staying safe online.

Maurice McCarthy Optus’ VP of Retail and Channel Sales said he was thrilled to bring the Digital Thumbprint Program to students at these schools and “support this year’s Safer Internet Day by starting simple conversations around some of the challenging topics related to the online world”.

“As a leading provider of internet technology, we are passionate about Safer Internet Day’s movement towards creating a better internet for everyone and look forward to continuing raising awareness throughout the entire week. By bringing our program to five schools in Wide Bay, students are able to learn that they don’t have to be an expert at navigating the internet to practice safe habits.

“Students are always online, whether it’s to complete schoolwork, stay in touch with their friends or game. The Digital Thumbprint program ensures students are able to take home some valuable skills when it comes to cybersecurity, verifying credible information and what to keep in mind to create a positive digital footprint.”

McCarthy said the program has been designed to incorporate an “interactive and original approach” to educating students on key issues such as how to protect your identity and information online and building positive and respectful relationships online.

“Students learn how easily things can spread when shared on the internet so they are aware of how valuable taking precautions such as creating strong passwords and enabling privacy settings on social media can be to shape their future for the better,” he said.

Julie Inman Grant eSafety Commissioner said, “It’s great to see Optus stepping up to help us spread the online safety message to millions of Australians on Safer Internet Day.”

“Far too many young Australians are having negative experiences online, including cyberbullying and other forms of abuse or disrespect.

“These are among the core issues addressed in the Digital Thumbprint Program, which uses realistic scenarios to help young people boost their online safety skills in an interactive way.

“The theme of Safer Internet Day 2020 is ‘start the chat’, and I know that many inspiring conversations will begin in these workshops in the participating schools across Wide Bay.”

Since 2013, the government accredited Optus Digital Thumbprint program has educated over 300,000 primary and secondary students across Australia on how to be safer and smarter online.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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