Argos officers catch up with student gamers about online safety

On Saturday October 9, officers from Argos were invited to attend QUT’s Queensland High School eSports grand final in Brisbane.

Argos detectives shared advice about staying safe online to over 24 high schools attending the event, along with many more students online via the event livestream.

Argos Detective Inspector Glen Donaldson said the event was a great opportunity for police to engage with students across grades 10-12 about digital footprints and online safety considerations at one of Queensland’s biggest eSports events.

“Our officers really enjoyed being part of this event, which gave us an opportunity to talk with young people about positive online experiences and how to identify and avoid online situations and behaviours that make them feel unsafe.

“Students asked important questions like how to report and who they can talk to if something does happen online,” Detective Inspector Donaldson said.

Officers explained the importance of speaking up and seeking support, with police and eSafety having reporting options depending on the circumstances, and Kids Helpline offering a support and counselling service.

Some of the topics Argos discussed included:

  • Permanency – once something is posted, you lose control of what happens to it and it can stay online for a long time.
  • Privacy – being mindful of how much information you share online; not everyone is who they say they are online.
  • Catfishing – where someone pretends to be someone they’re not by stealing a profile or creating a fake one.
  • Grooming – Unfortunately as Argos detectives know through their investigations, adults can make contact with children (a person under 16) online with the intention of persuading the child to engage in sexual activity, such as sending sexual images or content of themselves. This is a crime called grooming that is investigated by police. Offenders can be manipulative and may pretend to be a young person to gain trust. If a young person is coerced into sending explicit material, the offender may demand more images by threatening to share their content with others (sextortion). Police want any young person who has been a victim of this crime to know that it is not their fault and that help is available. Capturing information such as screenshots when it is safe to do so can assist with police investigations.

For more Argos tips for young people and their parents and carers on staying safe online, click here.

Reporting options

  • For life threatening emergencies or a crime in progress call triple zero (ooo)
  • To report information to police call Policelink 131 444.
  • If a person has been the victim of image-based abuse, it can also be reported to eSafety Commissioner who will work with the technology providers to attempt to remove the images.

Further resources and advice

  • Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
  • Bravehearts – 1800 272 831
  • eSafety Commissioner a key partner of the QPS in enhancing online safety, with a comprehensive suite of information, resources and reporting tools to ensure children have a safe experience online.
  • Who’s chatting to your kids? Further QPS advice and information about reducing online risks for children.
  • Out of the dark #doiknowu a campaign by the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) supported by the QPS and Department of Education, providing resources to help young people stay safe online.
  • Think U Know is a partnership between Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Datacom, Microsoft, State and Territory Police and Neighbourhood Watch. It provides information on topics including sexting, cyber bullying, online child exploitation, online privacy, and what to do when something goes wrong.

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