Cyber cop to teach in Taree

'Cyber cop' Susan McLean will work to educate Manning Valley parents about the positive and negative aspects of internet use in a free two-hour workshop in Taree.

'Cyber cop' Susan McLean will work to educate Manning Valley parents about the positive and negative aspects of internet use in a free two-hour workshop in Taree.

EMPOWERING parents to protect and educate their children about internet use will be the focus of a landmark workshop in Taree.

Online grooming, sexting, cyberbullying, sites used by children and young adults, misuse of mobile phones, email, Skype, blogs and webcams are just a few of the issues that will be addressed by Susan McLean, a former Victorian police officer with 27 years service who is now regarded as Australia's foremost expert in the area of cybersafety and commonly known as a 'cyber cop'.

"I am passionate about all areas of cybersafety and I believe that the ability to prevent criminal offending through education will not only benefit the whole community, it will also reduce the number of potential victims as well. Where the primary vulnerable population is young people, this is paramount," according to Susan.

The workshop is free and will be on Tuesday May 20 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at Manning Uniting Church and is for parents and carers. Its content will inform and encourage parents to set rules and boundaries about internet use at home. She will also host an all-day professional development workshop for Manning Valley educators and support workers.

According to Susan, the workshop will focus on the positive benefits of technology as well as the potential threats to the mental and physical wellbeing of children and young adults.

Specific subject areas that will be addressed include:

o What kids do online: where they go and the difference between an online friends and a stranger.

o Online grooming: what is it and when and how does it occur?

o Sexting: the taking and sending of explicit images and the real consequences.

o Popular sites: Facebook, Instagram, KiK, Twitter, Snap Chat, Club Penguin, World of Warcraft.

o Misuse of mobile phones, email, Skype, blogs and webcam: the legal and possible criminal consequences.

The workshop is free but an RSVP of attendance is required to Greater Taree City Council on 6592 5399.

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