Australian children’s personal information is being sold online after being stolen from gaming sites

The Daily Telegraph

POPULAR video games such as Fortnite and Minecraft are being used to harvest children’s personal data by web fiends who flog it to anyone willing to stump up the cash.

Cyber-safety expert Ross Bark said crooks could use a child’s username and password for a gaming site like Fortnite to extract more information including phone numbers, credit card details, dates of birth and home addresses.

“Websites like Fortnite ask users to hand over a lot of personal information, which is very valuable to criminals,” Mr Bark said. “The account details would usually be purchased in bulk by the hundreds.”

Read the full article in The Daily Telegraph here

Tips for parents to ensure their young children’s safety online.

The TODAY Show – Channel 9

Here’s a frightening number for you – 72 million pieces of data on average are being collected from a child before they turn 13. What can parents do to keep their children’s private information safe?

Watch Ross Bark’s interview on The TODAY Show to see how we all need to be careful about the information we share online.

Cyber-trolls and online bullies: Call for bans amid spate of teenage suicides

The Daily Telegraph

CYBER-BULLIES would be banned from social media and slapped with an online­ version of an apprehended violence­ order as part of a radical plan to stop trolls.

Anti-bullying charities are using a powerful parliamentary inquiry to call for a criminalisation of trolling — including giving child cyber-bullies a social media order (SMO) that would ban them from contacting their victims and using sites such as Facebook and Instagram.

It comes after 14-year-old Amy “Dolly” Everett took her own life on January 3 after being targeted by bullies online.

Cyber-safety expert Ross Bark, who runs education courses across NSW through his company Best Enemies, agreed the creation of an “SMO” would be helpful.

“It would be useful to be able to ban offenders from Facebook, Instagram and social media but it would need to be coupled with education so they can actually learn the very real effect they are having on their victims,” Mr Bark said.

Read the full article in The Daily Telegraph here

Kids are being exposed to disturbing content on YouTube

A Current Affair – Channel 9

The summer holidays are peak internet season for families – but parents have been warned about a trend of violent, graphic cartoons specifically designed to target children.

The cartoons feature beloved children’s characters such as Peppa Pig, Spider-Man and Elsa from Frozen, but feature gruesome acts including murder, cannibalism and pornography.

“Your child could be viewing the Peppa Pig video which could be a proper video, and in one second they could be watching something completely inappropriate, which they think is the same thing,” Cyber Expert Ross Bark told A Current Affair.

Watch the full story and my comments from last weeks A Current Affair.

Mum’s warning to parents as daughter, 12, groomed over Kik Messenger app

About two weeks ago, Sarah (not her real name) was carrying out a random check of her 12-year-old daughter’s iPad — as she does regularly with all the devices her kids use — when she stopped in horror.

In about five separate conversations, men, claiming to be 23 and 25 years old, had been seeking information from her 12-year-old daughter, asking where she lived and how they could meet her. Then there were the pictures. Vulgar images and videos sent through the app.

Cyber safety expert Ross Bark was shocked, but not surprised to hear of what had happened to the 12-year-old girl. “What I’ve seen is a lot of young people are getting on there to talk to their friends, but they get messages from random people, and they don’t really know what to do, and they’re not confident telling an adult about it,” he said.

Read the full article on news.com.au here

Channel 7 Sunrise Interview – Sexting on the rise?

Ross Bark was recently on Channel Seven’s Sunrise discussing new details on young people and sexting.

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Bill to Stop Workplace Bullies – SMH Article

Victims of workplace bullying will be able to go to Fair Work Australia to seek an order preventing the offender from continuing to harass or intimidate.

Ross Bark said their workshops and the work of the foundation are designed to “prevent these horrible circumstances of bullying from happening to begin with rather than waiting for them to occur and picking up the pieces. That is too late – the damage is done, and we are saying enough is enough”.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/bill-to-stop-workplace-bullies-20130316-2g76e.html#ixzz2YR4yKAIQ

Clever geeks follow your data trail to find out everything about you

E-commerce guru Ross Bark, of Salmat Digital, said by merging information gathered from social media sites with existing databases, marketers were hoping to predict real-time purchasing behaviour.

Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/national-news/victoria/clever-geeks-follow-your-data-trail-to-find-out-everything-about-you/story-fndo4cq1-1226609595505#ixzz2YR3JHIL2

Channel Seven’s SUNRISE – How can we beat the Bullies?

Schools and the government have taken a stand against bullying.

What can be done to solve this issue? Ross Bark from Best Enemies Education and Australian RnB artist Feydee speak about the problem.

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