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Keeping girls safe and secure online

Media Release
18 June 2012

Keeping girls safe and secure online

GirlGuiding New Zealand (NZ) has embarked on a partnership with NetSafe to develop a programme to provide advice about keeping girls safe as they use the internet and online technology.

The new NetSafe Digital Citizen badge gives girls the opportunity to explore and learn about many aspects of the online world with simple and fun activities.

“It is part of our role as leaders and as an organisation to keep our girls as safe as possible, no matter what activity they are involved in,” says Sonia Faulkner, GirlGuiding NZ’s National President.

“Girls are using computers and smart phones everyday and we need to make sure they are aware of the security and safety risks and what they can do to prevent this.”

GirlGuiding NZ is currently piloting the programme with a group of Brownies before taking it nationally to other sections of girls which includes Pippins, Guides and Rangers.
“The learning materials and activities included in this guide will help Guiding leaders learn about core computer safety and security areas and prepare girls and their families for the online environment,” says Sonia.

NetSafe, in partnership with Microsoft New Zealand, has developed the NetSafe Digital Citizen badge for both GirlGuiding New Zealand and Scouts New Zealand.

“We believe the boundaries between offline and online spaces are reduced for young children who don’t know a time before the internet and so it’s important that traditional ‘good citizen’ values be practiced online too – by respecting yourself and others, standing together as a community and understanding the responsibilities that come with the benefits of internet access,” says Chris Hails, Cybersafety and Security Consultant of NetSafe.
A range of fun offline and online activities need to be completed before the girls receive their NetSafe Digital Citizen Badge from GirlGuiding NZ. These include learning about protecting yourself online, writing a family contract for using computers and digital devices, choosing a strong password and creating an online cyber security comic.

NetSafe also has advice for parents to help keep their daughters safe and secure while using the internet and other online services:
• Use the latest operating system
• Use a firewall
• Use anti-virus software
• Set your computer to automatically update all of the above
• Use a strong password
• Back up data regularly

The NetSafe badge was launched during New Zealand’s first Cyber Security Awareness Week 11 – 15 June. Parents can get more free advice on computer safety and security at or


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