First Child Online Safety Index provides a useful starting point for further exploration

in News

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation welcomes the results from the first Child Online Safety Index, which sees Australia ranked as the second safest country out of 30, and believes it provides a useful starting point for further exploration.

International think-tank the DQ Institute launched the world’s first real-time Child Online Safety Index (COSI) on Safer Internet Day 2020, after surveying 145,426 children and adolescents in 30 countries over the last three years.

Safety rankings are based on six measures, including education and exposure to cyber risks. Only Spain ranks higher than Australia, while Thailand is ranked last.

The Foundation’s CEO Lesley Podesta says the report is particularly notable for its focus on eight to 12-year-olds, including their exposure to risks and social media.

These risks include cyber bullying, violent and sexual content, social media disorders and strangers children met online.

“The report provides a useful starting point for understanding online child safety, and there’s room to grow the Australian COSI dataset,” Lesley says.

“Correspondingly, there’s also room to grow our understanding of Australian child online safety in years to come.”

Lesley agrees with the founder of the DQ Institute, Dr Yuhyun Park, who says that despite Australia’s high ranking, the index leaves no room for complacency around child safety.

“Keeping children safe is of the highest priority to the Foundation and to all Australians,” she says.

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