Looking After Children Online

Cyber Safety

Looking After Children Online


Internet users are responsible for the amount of information they reveal online. Most information published online is available for anyone to view and may be difficult to remove. It can also be used for purposes that may not have been intended.


If you are supervising children using the internet, you can help them stay safe online by reminding them of the following simple steps:

never share passwords, no matter how much they trust their friends 

use strong passwords with a combination of letters and numbers, not something that is easy to guess, like a pet’s name or a favourite singer 

don’t publish their personal details or those of their friends, such as names, ages, school details, email addresses or phone numbers on social networking sites (including profiles) 

don’t publish inappropriate photos of themselves or anyone else and ask permission before writing about other people or publishing their photo 

don’t reply to nasty email messages (but keep a copy of them in case they’re needed if trouble arises) 

block senders of inappropriate or unpleasant messages or delete the person if they are in their contact list 

don’t give out their mobile number to people they don’t know or trust 

save all nasty messages on their email accounts or mobile phones as evidence and show an adult

Contact the relevant telecommunications company to block problem numbers on your mobile service.


For help and advice about kids’ safety online contact the Cybersafety Contact Centre on 1800 880 176 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 880.


For more detailed information on helping children stay safe online visit the ACMA site at www.acma.gov.au and the Cybersmart site atwww.cybersmart.gov.au.


The Easy Guide to Socialising Online provides cybersafety information about 27 different social networking sites including Facebook, search engines and online games. It gives step by step instructions on how to report cyberbullying, abuse and inappropriate content on these sites. The guide also includes general tips to help you stay safe when using any social media site.


Where to go for help

Most social networking sites have information and tools on how to report problems and help users control who can access their information. Check these out when you sign up and make sure you keep security and private settings up to date.


Report any criminal activity to the police in your state or territory.


ACCC www.accc.gov.au

For advice on scams and how to report them contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or call SCAMwatch on 1300 302 502.


ACMA www.acma.gov.au

As well as information on how to help children stay safe online, the ACMA has an internet hotline to report prohibited content atwww.acma.gov.au/hotline or call 1800 880 176. Complaints about spam and spam scams (e-mail, instant messages, SMS and MMS) can be made to the ACMA at www.spam.acma.gov.au, on 1300 855 180 or forward SMS spam to 0429 999 888.


ASIC www.asic.gov.au

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigates scams involving financial products and services including cold calling, phone investment scams and illegal investment schemes.


DBCDE www.dbcde.gov.au/helpbutton

The Help Button is a free application available for download from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy’s website. It provides internet users, particularly children and young people, with easy online access to cybersafety information and assistance. It offers counselling, reporting and educational resources to assist young people to deal with online risks including cyberbullying and offensive or inappropriate material.

DBCDE www.dbcde.gov.au/easyguide