Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has formally launched a 'Cyber Safety Help Button', following a six-month-long trial of the software.
The software was made available as a free download yesterday by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, which has spent $113,000 on the project to date.
Targeted at school-aged children, the software featured a bright red button that could be set to hover above other applications or be minimised in the taskbar once installed.
Users were encouraged to double-click on the help button in uncomfortable online situations, such as when they experienced cyberbullying, received unwanted content, or came across disturbing content.
They would then be prompted to 'talk', 'report', or 'learn', and directed to Kids Helpline counsellors, educational resources, and webpages for reporting content on social networking sites or contacting the Federal Police.
The Help Button was developed for Windows 7, Vista, XP and Mac OS X by Canberra security company Saltbush Group, using Adobe Air technologies.
Installation required Adobe Flash, which a DBCDE spokesman said was installed on more than 98 percent of Australian desktops.
Design and development of the button was informed by members of the Government's Youth Advisory Group (YAG).
The Government met with 50 YAG students, their parents and teachers, in June.
"The Australian Government's YAG on Cybersafety members ... stated they wanted a 'one-stop-shop' for cybersafety information and assistance," the DBCDE spokesman told iTnews today.
"The Cyber Safety Help Button has been developed within the budget allocated to it. So far $113,000 has been invested in the project."
Previous media reports have priced the Button between $73,000 and $136,000.
The initiative was supported by members of the Government's Consultative Working Group on Cyber Safety, including Google, Microsoft, Telstra and the ACMA.
Conroy said the Government would enhance the Help Button by making it suitable for mobile platforms, enabling network downloading and adding resources.
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Issue: 315 | May 2013
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