Stay safe online

A parliamentary committee has made 13 recommendations that the government should implement to boost Internet participation among seniors and help keep them safe online in a report released today.


A cybersafety reporting and awareness portal with a dedicated seniors tab and backed up with a telephone service should be developed to help combat cybercrime, a parliamentary committee has recommended.

It is one of 13 recommendations in five categories made in the report Cybersafety for Seniors: A Worthwhile Journey, released today by the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety.

The inquiry into keeping seniors safe online also recommends the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy prioritise including cybersafety information on its website in languages other than English.

Committee Chair Senator Catryna Bilyk said the internet was an essential tool for participation in many aspects of modern life and Australians, including many seniors, were online for business and pleasure.

“Unfortunately, however, there are also many seniors who are not taking part in the digital revolution.

“The reasons for non-participation are various, but fear of becoming a victim of cybercrime is a real deterrent,” she said.

Recommendations are categorised by how seniors use information and communication technologies; cybersafety risks and threats for seniors; cybersafety education and training for seniors; consumer protection; regulation and enforcement; and the role of industry.

The report has also recommended the government investigate ways of providing low cost internet to financially disadvantaged housebound and geographically isolated seniors, and work with states and territories to support use of public libraries and other community centres for cybersafety training for seniors.

The Australian Human Rights Commission told the inquiry it was concerned that some tech-challenged seniors were becoming increasingly isolated by staying offline.

“The speed of the information technology revolution has meant that many older Australians have found themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide,” the commission stated.

“Seniors without access to email, which is increasingly becoming a necessary tool for participation in society, are at risk of reduced participation in critical aspects of modern living.”

The committee used an online survey to give seniors the opportunity to tell the inquiry about their internet use and their concerns, if any, about cybersafety. The survey received 536 responses which helped inform the committee’s report.

For further information on the inquiry visit the committee’s website: Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety

Read the full report here: Inquiry into Cybersafety for Senior Australians



Tags: australian-human-rights-commission, catryna-bilyk, cybercrime, cybersafety, parliamentary-committee,

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