Staying Safe Online - Barwon Community Legal Service

Staying Safe Online

Staying safe online and navigating online behaviour can be tricky, but, there are resources that can help.

The eSafety Commissioner is an independent government agency that aims to ‘empower all Australians to have safer, more positive online experiences’.

Information to Help You Stay Safe Online 

The eSafety Commissioner has a heap of resources that can:

  • Explain what to do if you’ve been trolled, scammed, cyberbullied, pressured to share nudes/ intimate images or experienced other negative behaviour online.
  • Explain what to do if you’ve had your own online behaviour called out.
  • Help you have more positive experiences online including online gaming, balancing your time online and managing pressures from social media.

There are different sections of the website containing specific information for different audiences including parents, young people, kids, women, seniors, first nations communities and more! The eSafety website can he found here:

Report Negative Online Behaviour 

If you or someone you know has experienced or seen abusive, negative or inappropriate behaviour online, it can be reported to the eSafety Commissioner.

The eSafety Commissioner can investigate:

  1. Serious online abuse:
  • This is where something is shared, posted or sent online that is likely to cause harm to another person. For example, cyberbullying someone under 18 by sharing or threatening to share an intimate image.
  • Harmful content could be in the form of a video, text, image, message, meme, post or other form. It could be sent or shared online through websites, social media, apps, online games or other methods.
  1. Illegal or restricted online content:
  • This is content that might show violent crimes, terrorist acts or other illegal activity that has been posted online.

BEFORE you report to the eSafety Commissioner, you must FIRST report it to the platform it is posted on (like Facebook, Instagram, X/Twitter, Reddit or Snapchat). If the content is not removed, you can report it to the eSafety Commissioner. You should keep evidence like screenshots. Once a report is made, the eSafety Commissioner will investigate. The eSafety Commissioner has powers to get the content taken down, order someone to stop their cyberbullying behaviour, issue a fine or start legal action.

More info on the types of behaviour you can report and how to report can be found here:

Where to From Here? 

When a legal issue does arise, we may be able to provide free and confidential legal help or if we can’t assist, we can point you in the direction of someone who can.

You can request an appointment online via our website here:

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