Minors Online and Their Risks from Cyber Predators: Should we Protect or Empower?
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications
For minor-aged internet users in Australia, the online environment is positioned as a site of pleasurable activity negotiated within the context of the daily life of family and friends, work and leisure options, school and home activities. At the same time, the internet has become the most effective conduit in history for delivering the outside world into the home, and making household members visible and vulnerable to outsiders. This provides excitement and escape for many children and teenagers, but possibly at the cost of their safety and their parents’ peace of mind. Mobile and Web 2.0 applications are soon going to make it even more difficult for parents, teachers and law enforcement authorities to know where minors are when they are online. In such circumstances it is important that children have confidence in their own ability to negotiate internet interactions. This paper examines the twin options of regulating to protect; or empower.