Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Alert

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) it may take longer than usual to address all reports or enquiries made with our investigation teams.

Please continue to submit reports and we will review them as soon as possible.

If you are worried about your safety or are at risk of harm right now contact police immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).

If you need someone to talk to and are under 25, contact Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).
For all other ages, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Young people and social media usage

State of play — social media usage

Young people 8 to 17 years (kids 8 to 12 years, teens 13 to 17 years)

The top five social media services used:

  • YouTube*: 80% kids, 86% teens
  • Facebook: 26% kids, 75% teens
  • Snapchat: 26% kids, 67% teens
  • Instagram: 24% kids, 70% teens
  • Google+: 23% kids, 29% teens

* A profile is not necessary to gain access to content on YouTube

There are some gender differences! 

Girls are more likely to use:

  • Instagram: 52% girls, 42% boys
  • Snapchat:  53% girls, 39% boys
  • Pinterest: 23% girls, 8% boys
  • Musical.ly: 18% girls, 6% boys
  • Tumblr: 12% girls, 4% boys

Boys are more likely to use:

  • YouTube: 85% boys, 81% girls
  • Reddit: 8% boys, 4% girls

Managing privacy

68% of young people actively manage their online privacy. The top three actions are:

  • Blocking people (including ‘unfriending’): 50% girls, 42% boys
  • Increasing privacy settings: 47% girls, 39% boys
  • Not allowing automatic location on posts: 42% girls, 31 % boys

Source: Youth and digital dangers, Office of the eSafety Commissioner, 3 May 2018

Data drawn from eSafety’s Youth Digital Participation Survey, using a random sample of 3,017 young people in Australia aged 8 to 17 years in the 12 months to June 2017 (kids 8 to 12 years, teens 13 to 17 years)

More findings from this research