This week, Nambucca students were armed with online safety skills after taking part in Optus' Digital Thumbprint Program, a free-in-school program that supports young people to be safe, responsible and positive online.
Over 40 students from Frank Partridge VC Public School took park in the program which aims to equip them with simple and effective tools for being safe online.
This forms part of a two-week-long roadshow across Nambucca, Port Macquarie, Taree, Kempsey, Armidale and Tamworth which will visit over 2,360 students across seven schools.
North West and Mid North Coast NSW, Territory General Manager Chris Simon said given eased restrictions in the state, he was thrilled to bring the program to students at Frank Partridge VC Public School, sparking conversations around digital practice as well as some of the other challenging topics related to the online world.
"With the current situation driving more online activity, conversations around necessary precautions such as creating strong passwords and enabling privacy settings on social media have become more important than ever. As a leading provider of internet technology, it's important for us to highlight to students that they don't have to be an expert at navigating the internet to practice these safe habits," he said.
"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.
"Making sure to implement ways to keep Australians safe is a priority during this time, whilst also continuing to educate, we expanded on our original face-to-face Digital Thumbprint Program delivery model to offer digital versions. With NSW moving into the new normal, it's great to bring back the interactive approach of the program, educating students across North West and Mid North Coast NSW on key issues such as how to protect your identity and information online and building positive and respectful relationships online."
Since the program's launch in 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.