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  • Writer's picturekaren paterson

Enhancing child safety online: launching a family-friendly internet service

How can you tell if the internet services your children use are safe?



Recognising the evolution of social media and online safety

As social media usage has soared and the platforms themselves have evolved, so too has the focus on child safety online. Reflecting on the early days of social media with platforms like MySpace, AOL, and Friends Reunited, the internet landscape has dramatically transformed.


In support of the aims of the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, we took significant steps to promote a safer online environment for families through the introduction of a family-friendly internet service tailored for Australian users.


Expert Collaboration and Beta Testing

To ensure the internet service was well-suited for Australian families, we collaborated with both local internet and technology experts and the client’s technical team to initiate a 'beta test' program. We recruited a panel of 10-20 online specialists who rigorously evaluated the service, ensuring it met high standards of safety and usability.


Setting Up for Success

Before commencing the beta test, we briefed the client's senior executives and technical leaders on our strategic approach, highlighting the importance of expert evaluation in mitigating risks and managing change effectively. This preparation was crucial to minimise potential negative feedback at launch, especially since not all features would be active initially.


Participants in the beta test were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, offering them the first opportunity to provide detailed reviews of the service at launch based on their pre-launch testing experiences.


Detailed preparations and feedback integration

We detailed the service's features to the experts, noting ongoing developments, in a comprehensive face-to-face briefing led by the client’s senior technical expert. This session allowed for a thorough discussion and addressed all questions raised by our panel.


To capture and act upon feedback swiftly, we maintained close collaboration with a senior technical expert from our client’s team. A dedicated support email was established for testers to communicate any issues or questions, ensuring that each feedback element was integrated directly into the service through built-in feedback forms.


Outcome and positive reception

Our panel of experts gained a clear understanding of which service elements would be operational at launch and which were still in development. Their insights provided valuable feedback on the ongoing features, leading to a balanced and positive reception at launch. This strategy effectively showcased the value of a family-friendly internet service for Australian families, setting a new standard for safe internet usage.


This collaborative approach not only facilitated the successful rollout of the new service but also reinforced our commitment to enhancing online safety for children, ensuring a secure digital environment for future generations.

How can we help you to manage a change you introducing?




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