Optus has announced an expansion to its Digital Thumbprint Program to provide more opportunities for regional Australian students to learn about digital safety and wellbeing.
Primary school students in years 3 and 4 across regional communities can now be among the first to experience the expanded digital educational program, focusing on kids staying safe when on games and apps, and keeping information private online. Year 5 and 6 students will be able to access a program tailored to deal with cyberbullying and have respectful online relationships.
In light of Safer Internet Day, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner is encouraging all Australians to connect safely and with purpose, reflect before they act, and protect themselves and others by taking action online.
Optus Digital Thumbprint Program
Optus Customer Success Managing Director, Maurice McCarthy said: “Optus is committed to ensuring a safer future for all Australians online by providing support to young people, families and seniors.
“We’re investing $1.25 million into the Optus Digital Thumbprint Program this year as one of our key commitments following the recent cyberattack. The aim is to create a more inclusive and optimistic future for all Australians to thrive and have confident, positive interactions with each other and digital technology by providing essential tools for digital safety and wellbeing.” he said.
“This extra funding enables us to take the current program to 14 locations in total, with five new regional hubs being added to the program. This means we’re reaching an additional 5,000 students, taking the total to 21,000 regional students in the next six months.
“We’re dedicated to ensuring our Digital Thumbprint Program has an increased focus on Cyber Security and Digital Identity topics. This is part of a series of commitments Optus is making following the cyberattack to be better as a company, for our customers and for the communities we call home.
Optus Digital Thumbprint began in 2013 and was one of the first national programs of its kind. The program has since provided free workshops and supported over half a million primary and secondary students across the country, to build knowledge around digital safety and wellbeing.
eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, said Safer Internet Day is a chance for all Australians to help create safer online spaces.
“It’s encouraging to see businesses supporting this year’s Safer Internet Day theme: Connect. Reflect. Protect.
“We can all contribute to a safer, more respectful online world by supporting each other online, standing up to bullies, and reporting abuse to the platform and then to eSafety.gov.au.
“Trusted eSafety Providers like Optus Digital Thumbprint also play an important role by providing high quality programs that empower young people, families and seniors to have safer, more positive online experiences wherever they live.”
The expansion of the Optus Digital Thumbprint offers a variety of resources for parents, teachers, and trusted adults to facilitate conversations with kids.
A schoolteacher who participated in the program in 2022 said: “The resources align with eSafety and current curriculum. They provide a fresh approach to online safety for primary and secondary students.”
Regional primary school teachers interested in participating in the expanded Optus Digital Thumbprint program can register their classroom for free online and gain access to quizzes, teaching resources, and interactive games.