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

FAQ

Looking for extra information? Check our Frequently Asked Questions.

About Safety by Design

Safety by Design is an eSafety initiative that puts user safety and rights at the centre of the design and development of online products and services. 

It includes a set of principles that position Safety by Design as a fundamental consideration.

The Safety by Design principles provide industry with realistic, actionable and achievable measures to help safeguard users from online risks and harms. They give companies guidance as they incorporate, assess and enhance user safety.

There are three Safety by Design principles:

  • Service provider responsibilities
  • User empowerment and autonomy
  • Transparency and accountability

For more information, see principles and background.

The assessment tools are intended to provide both a safety 'health check’ and a learning resource that helps companies continually improve online safety. 

To position user safety as a fundamental design consideration, we engaged in in-depth consultation with large technology companies and early stage or start-up companies. 

The assessment tools include case studies and examples from some of the best known platforms and services around the world. 

To reflect the diverse needs of the technology ecosystem, a range of people and organisations were also consulted, such as NGOs, advocates, parents and young people.

The Safety by Design assessment tools take participants through sets of targeted multiple-choice questions, as well as information that is relevant to the overarching stream they select. The streams include:

  • Founder CEO/Director/Founder 
  • Product/Policy/Project Owner or Manager.

The multiple-choice questions ask participants about the systems, processes and practices that are in place at their company. The responses generate a tailored report that identifies opportunities to improve user safety.

Users are provided with targeted guidance based on the overarching stream they have selected an interest in and the responses provided to questions at the beginning of the assessment tool and throughout each of the modules.

The streams available to users include: 

  • Founder CEO/Director/Founder 
  • Product/Policy/Project Owner or Manager. 

The world-wide range of online product and service offerings is diverse and complex, so the Safety by Design assessment reports are for guidance only. The Safety by Design and third-party resources offer suggestions for further innovation and improvement across sectors.

No. The assessment tools are only intended as an internal learning resource for the participant’s organisation. The responses are anonymous and no personal information about the participant or their organisation is collected.

For more information, see our Safety by Design privacy page.

You can find out more about Safety by Design initiatives and explore the principles and background to Safety by Design.

Safety by Design is a global initiative. It provides information and guidance for any individual or organisation looking to put user safety and rights at the centre of the design and development of online products and services.

The consultation for Safety by Design was global, in recognition of the fact that the digital world has no borders. 

eSafety strongly advocates for greater harmonisation, coordination and consistency of safety principles, as well as guidance and actionable measures for the technology sector around the world. We invite other countries to foster greater uptake of this approach within their jurisdictions.

General

Safety by Design classifies a start-up as an organisation with less than 50 employees. An organisation with 50+ employees should use the enterprise assessment tool. 

These delineations are based on the definitions used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

The start-up tool includes a mandatory module on online harms and is designed for companies that are trying to bring technology products or services to market and are in the initial stages of their business. It is aimed at entrepreneurial ventures that are trying to scale quickly and are developing or revising their policies, procedures and processes around online safety. 

The enterprise tool is designed for mature technology companies that already have individuals and teams responsible for online safety and wish to enhance their internal policies, processes and procedures or audit their existing practices.

The online harms module is mandatory for start-ups because it gives an overview of the various types of online harms and different techniques and tactics used by online abusers. It is important to understand how online abuse is perpetrated to proactively address online safety issues.

Enterprise companies may also wish to complete the online harms module, or direct new members of the organisation to undertake the module at induction.

Yes. You will be given a unique reference code to re-enter the tool so that you can continue where you left off. Please log in at least every seven days to keep your unique reference code valid. You will need to ensure that you keep your return code safe as eSafety is unable to retrieve it or to access your assessments.

You need to log in at least every seven days to keep your unique reference code valid. After 90 days eSafety deletes all details, so you will need to start again.

Once you have completed the initial questions telling us about your company, you will be provided with a unique reference code. This is only provided once, so please copy it and keep it safe.

You need to log in at least every seven days to keep your unique reference code valid. After 90 days eSafety deletes all details, so you will need to start again.

The Safety by Design initiative was developed to guide and support industry to embed safety into the design, development and deployment of products and services. As such, it should be seen as a separate initiative that will support industry to meet the Australian government’s expectations, as set out in the proposed Online Safety Act.  
 

No. The assessment tools were not designed with any specific regulatory requirements in mind. They are intended as a learning resource and to identify opportunities to bolster online safety in the participant’s organisation. 

Use and promotion

Safety by Design materials can be shared internally across your organisation to bolster online safety.

No. The Safety by Design assessment tools and resources are intended only as a learning resource to be used within an organisation. Any results from the tool should not be promoted externally as they are based only on the participant’s answers and have not been independently verified. 

Privacy

The assessment tools do not collect any personal data that could identify you or your company. All answers are anonymous. Your IP address is used to determine the country where you are completing the tool, but the IP address itself is not captured or stored in the tool.

For more information, see our Safety by Design privacy page.

You are provided with a unique reference code so that you can complete the assessment over multiple sessions.

Your answers to the assessment questions are captured by the tool. This allows the tool to record your progress, ask questions based on previous answers and display relevant case studies and other materials. The answers are also used to create the tailored end report. 

The answers of all participants are stored in anonymised aggregate and may be used to identify general areas where additional guidance and information is required.

Your IP address is used to determine the country where you are completing the tool, but the IP address itself is not captured or stored in the tool.

No. The questions are multiple choice and general in nature, so it is not possible to identify individuals or organisations from the responses collected.

Your unique reference code is valid for 90 days. You must also log in at least once every seven days to keep your unique reference code active. Anonymous data from the answers is stored in aggregate and may be used to identify areas where additional guidance and information is required.

Feedback and consultation

We are always looking for new ideas and perspectives. Find out how to collaborate with us and read information about some of the groups we work with.

You can provide feedback on the Safety by Design initiative, including the assessment tools, by contacting us

eSafety does not provide consulting services. If you have a project you would like to work with eSafety on, find out how you can collaborate with us.

We’re always looking for new ideas. Let us know about your innovation by contacting us.