Safer Internet Day is a global event that brings together communities, families, schools and organisations from more than 200 countries to help create safer online spaces.
This worldwide initiative is celebrating 20 years in 2023, making it a great time to reflect as well as look forward.
Technology has evolved dramatically in the past two decades and the benefits have been huge. These developments have also exposed us to many risks with real-world impacts, making online safety awareness even more important.
That’s why we are calling on Australians to Connect. Reflect. Protect.
Connect safely and with purpose – by keeping apps and devices secure and using social media in positive ways.
Reflect before we act – by taking a moment to consider how what we do and say online may affect others.
Protect ourselves and others by taking action – by telling family, friends or colleagues about eSafety and how we can help.
By doing these simple things, we can work towards making every day a Safer Internet Day.
Nearly one in four Australians speak a language other than English at home and Australians identify with more than three hundred different ancestries.
People from culturally and linguistically diverse communities have a broad range of digital literacy skills. Young people are often highly digitally connected, but older people and those with lower levels of English often face a ‘digital divide’. This means they can miss out on the features and benefits that others access online.
eSafety undertakes research, consultation and community engagement to understand the online risks and identify the needs of people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Serious online abuse
Our research shows that some individuals and communities are more at-risk of being targeted online, and at-risk of serious harm, due to a range of intersectional factors. These factors include race, religion, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and mental health conditions. The risk can also increase because of situational vulnerabilities, such as being impacted by domestic and family violence.
eSafety has legal powers to help protect people who live in Australia from the most serious online abuse and harmful content. This includes cyberbullying of children, adult cyber abuse and image-based abuse (sharing intimate images without the consent of the person shown). The harmful content can posted publicly or communicated through an online or electronic service or platform, including social media, games, chat apps, emails, messages (including SMS), forums and websites.
Cyberbullying of children: If seriously harmful content is sent to a child or young person under 18, or shared about them, it is called ‘cyberbullying’. The content can be seriously threatening, seriously intimidating, seriously harassing and/or seriously humiliating. If the online service or platform used to send or share the harmful content does not help, eSafety can investigate and have the content removed. Read our advice about how to deal with cyberbullying.
Adult cyber abuse: If content sent to an adult or shared about them is menacing, harassing or offensive and also intended to seriously harm their physical or mental health, it is called ‘adult cyber abuse’. If the online service or platform used to send or share harmful content does not help, eSafety can investigate and have the content removed. Read our advice about how to deal with adult cyber abuse.
Image-based abuse: If someone shares, or threatens to share, an intimate image or video without the consent of the person shown, it is called ‘image-based abuse’. This includes images and videos that show someone without attire of religious or cultural significance that they would normally wear in public (such as a niqab or turban). Image-based abuse should be reported to eSafety immediately, so we can have the harmful content removed. Read our advice about how to deal with image-based abuse.
Illegal and restricted online content
Illegal and restricted online content is the worst type of harmful online material. It shows or encourages violent crimes including child sexual abuse, terrorist acts, murder, attempted murder, rape, torture, violent kidnapping and suicide. Illegal and restricted online content should be reported to eSafety immediately, so we can have it removed. Read our advice about how to deal with illegal and restricted content.