Media Release, 20 April 2012

Keeping kids safe when they use Facebook and Twitter to connect with friends became easier today with the launch of Telstra Safe Social™ – a new social networking protection tool available to BigPond Security customers.
Telstra’s Director of Internet Trust & Safety, Darren Kane, said Telstra Safe Social™ helps families check their kids are enjoying using social networking sites safely.

Using Telstra Safe Social™ parents can access a dashboard that lets them:

  • Set up a protection level that suits their family, ranging from young kids just joining the internet, to pre-teen, teens and adult.
  • Know when new friends are added so they can be reassured their child isn’t ‘friending’ unsuitable adults or people from outside their network
  • Be alerted if threats or anti-social behaviour - which might highlight cyber-bullying -appears in your child’s social network conversations.

Mr Kane said: “Telstra’s recent Cyber-Safety research showed nearly half of Australian parents don’t always know what conversations their kids are having online. Telstra Safe Social™ can help to make it easy for parents to have a conversation with their kids about who they are chatting with online and stay aware of potentially risky situations.”“Our research revealed the top concern for parents when it comes to online safety is unsolicited contact by strangers (cited by 34 per cent), followed by cyber-bullying (15.3 per cent) and unsupervised access to information (14.7 per cent). The new Telstra Safe Social™ service allows parents to receive instant alerts and daily or weekly email reports about behaviour of concern in their kid’s social network activity. This can help them manage potential online risks such as cyber-bullying and approaches from online strangers,” Darren said.

Telstra Safe Social™ is able to connect with popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace - with more networks being added as they become relevant.

Parents/guardians can visit BigPond.com to sign-up for a free 30-day trial of BigPond Security protection including Telstra Safe Social™, Parental Controls, Web Threat Protection, Anti-Spyware, and BigPond Safe Central, existing customers can go to My BigPond Security to get access to the service.

BigPond Security is available from $9.95 per month to protect up to three Windows PC computers. Pay upfront for 12 or 24 months and get up to 24% discount over the standard monthly subscription.


Telstra’s top 10 tips for parents to help protect your kids in the online world:

  1. Understand the sites and technology your kids use and know who they're talking to.
  2. Create a list of online 'rules' with the family e.g. time limits, list of OK sites to visit.
  3. Educate your kids so they know not to give out personal details online without parental knowledge.
  4. Make sure your kids know what to do and where to go if they encounter cyber-bullying.
  5. Regularly sit with your kids when they are on the internet. Let them know you are interested and keen to understand their online activity.
  6. Advise your kids to take extreme caution and keep online friendships online, and to never agree to meet their ‘online’ friends without parental supervision.
  7. Talk with your family about the risks of internet use, particularly in chat rooms.
  8. Reinforce positive behaviour and values, such as being respectful of others.
  9. Don't ignore new technologies kids and teens will use them, if not at home then at their friends’ houses or in the schoolyard. Ask your child to give you a lesson on sites or internet gadgets you may not be familiar with.
  10. Install software or subscribe to services that can filter content and block offensive websites. Visit BigPond.com for more information and to find a suitable product.

About the research: This research was conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of Telstra in January 2012 on a representative sample of 1,250 Australian parents with children aged 10-17, from across Australia in both metropolitan and regional areas.