Subject: Friend, this is a new tech solution to prevent online risks that you won't want to miss!

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Hi Friend,

I will never forget a conversation with a Deputy Principal who shared that he would be out of a job if it weren't for the constant need to respond to sexting and phone-related incidents in their school. Kids face immense peer-pressure to get a smartphone, which, of course, translates to pleas to parents from kids claiming that their life won't have meaning if they don't have the latest XYZ device. 

Parents often say yes too early, believing that they are solving a chronic case of badgering. However, what may be less evident when handing over a smartphone is the increase in pathways to online risks–the more portable and internet-connected the device, the more difficult it is to monitor and manage. Add to this the complexities that emerge when mobile phones are allowed at school. This situation can potentially open up a melting-pot of legal and other risks if children are harmed by other children showing p0rn and weaponising this content. Hence, the Deputy Principal conversation represents one among countless.

So it's no surprise that a buzz emerged at a parent workshop I delivered last week regarding a new tech solution to help keep kids safe. I am confident that your school and parents will also want to know about G-Mee.

G-Mee Connect is an affordable smartphone designed to help children grow capable and responsible in the digital world, specially designed for children who are ready for their first smartphone. It gives parents complete control and the ability to restrict and free up functionality when the time is right for their child to have more accessibility. G-Mee is made by parents for parents to have peace of mind when it comes to giving their child their first device. And there's also G-Mee play–kids first smart player (a big step up from the old iPod!). 

The solution was developed by tech expert Charlie Brown, although his wife Rachel initially came up with the idea. "We had rules [for the device] like no camera, no open access to the internet, it can run whatever app you want and we wanted something that allowed them to have adventures but managed adventures," he says. "There was nothing that did that."

This new phone is a total win for kids safety, and no, we don't get paid to rave about G-Mee! Like you, we just want to keep kids safe, so G-Mee is listed as one of our favourites on our new Parent Help 101 webpage. Now available online or at Australia Post–when G-Mee launches in other countries, we will be sure to let you know.

In other news, be sure to check out this week's research update on the pathways to harm and vulnerability, online and offline. Confirmed yet again, exposure to p0rn creates vulnerabilities to online sexual exploitation, sexting, grooming and more–educating to prevent tech and sexualised harms has never been more critical. Schools in Australia may also like to prepare for the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence–details below.

Till next time, be well and stay inspired.
Friday 19 March is the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA).
Run by Bullying. No Way! NDA brings Australian school communities together to make a stand against bullying and violence.
eSafety will support this important event with a Virtual Classroom titled Be an eSafe kid: Being an upstander, held between 12 to 22 March. Suitable for students in years 3-6, this webinar explores how young people can support their friends online. Register your class today.
You can also download the NDA fact sheets for primary and secondary students, which provide tips for children who experience bullying. For more information on how you can get involved with the NDA, visit Bullying. No Way!.

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Youth Wellbeing Project, PO Box 1055, North Lakes, QLD, 4509, Australia
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