After one man was charged and another sentenced for crimes involving social media platforms in Tasmania recently, online safety has again been put in the spotlight.
In sentencing a 33-year-old man to nine years' jail for rape and indecent assault, Launceston Supreme Court Justice Robert Pearce described how the man used Snapchat to take advantage of his young victims.
"Your crimes were calculated, cruel and predatory. You went to considerable lengths to deceive and manipulate these young women, taking advantage of their youth and vulnerability," Justice Pearce said.
As part of the case, police traced the man's Snapchat accounts and searched his home.
While the social media platform enabled police to find the man, the case prompted consideration about online safety.
In response Australian eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said, "like all platforms that allow social interaction, Snapchat is open to misuse and can expose adults, teens and even children to unwanted contact from strangers, being bullied or abused, or being exposed to harmful content".
"Unfortunately platforms that are popular with young people will always be attractive to predators looking to exploit and groom them."
Ms Inman Grant said parents also play a role in teaching their children to question everything a person they have met online says.
AFP Child Protection Operations and Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) Detective Superintendent, Paula Hudson said there are a number of indicators for parents to look out for to help keep their kids safe online.
While child sex offenders often encourage children they may be grooming to keep quiet, parents may notice a change in their child's mood or behaviour.
Supervision and privacy settings as well as being open and approachable are other ways Ms Hudson said parents can help to ensure their child's online safety.
Social media is an area child predators are able to operate under the guise of anonymity.
Similar to historical lessons about people luring children into their car, Ms Inman Grant said it is important to teach children that the lessons about "Stranger Danger" they are taught in school apply to the online world.
University of Technology Sydney senior communications lecturer and expert on social media and online privacy, Dr Bhuva Narayan, said digital literacy education was a key to helping avoid further instances such as the two cases in Tasmania.
Trusting your child in terms of their online presence and use of social media platforms was another way Dr Narayan said could help to make children safer online.
"It is important for adults and parents to trust their children. If they trust you they will open up and let you know if something goes wrong," Dr Narayan said.
Ms Inman Grant and Ms Hudson agree that parents having the ability to freely communicate with their children can help with online safety.
Research commissioned by the ACCCE showed only 52 per cent of children or carers talk to their children about online safety.
Dr Narayan said a good way to bridge any communication deficits between children and their parents was through the ChildSafe Australia website.
The website provides children with an outlet to discuss problems arising on social media and offers educational tools and information.