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

Investors and financial entities

The investment and venture capital community can play a pivotal role in helping to ensure that early-stage technology companies put safety and ethical considerations at the heart of their design processes.

We recognise there are important inflection points and players in the technology ecosystem that need to be leveraged to enable real change.

Investors and venture capitalists (VCs) play a pivotal role in nurturing tech ventures – they are often much more experienced about what leads to success – and they can help to put safety and ethical considerations at the heart of the businesses they invest in.

This is why we have worked with investors, VCs and start-up and incubation communities to develop a suite of resources for financial entities.

Resources

Our Safety by Design principles and resources provide a clear set of standards and easy pathway to support responsible investment and business decisions. They can help tech investors to prepare for and manage future online safety risks.

Overview of resources for investors and financial entities

  • Safety by Design principles – provide the foundational principles for the technology community to bolster online safety, mitigating risks from the earliest stages while ensuring service provider responsibilities are met, users are empowered and organisations are transparent and accountable in their operations. 
  • Investment checklist – allows you to start conversations with potential investees that will help assess their capacity for managing online safety risks.
  • Model clauses for due diligence arrangements and funding agreements – can be used or adapted to ensure that online safety considerations are built into your investment.
  • Assessment tool for start-ups – guide start-up companies through a series of questions and resources designed to help them improve and innovate online safety.

Investment checklist

Investors can use these checklist questions to start conversations with potential investees that will help assess their capacity for managing online safety risks.

  1. Do you refer to user safety in your company’s mission statement, corporate values or principles? 
  2. Is there a team or individual responsible for user safety?
  3. Do you have clear and visible terms of service and community guidance/acceptable use policy?
  4. Are official safety review procedures part of the product design process?
  5. Do you moderate behaviour on your platform or service (either in-house, outsourced, community-driven or a hybrid approach)?
  6. Can you detect and flag illegal behaviour and content to prevent harm before it occurs?
  7. If illegal activity occurs, do you have processes in place to notify law enforcement, support services and illegal content hotlines?
  8. Do you have systems in place for breaches of your terms of service or community guidelines?
  9. Do you provide users with tools and features that allow them to manage their own safety?
  10. Do you have visible and simple reporting systems and appeals processes for users to lodge complaints or concerns about their safety, which are actioned within dedicated timeframes?
  11. Do you take proactive steps to inform users about safety policies, features and advice on your service?
  12. Where does the company publicly share information relating to user safety?

 

You may like to download and share the investment checklist at the base of this page. It includes explanatory notes about Safety by Design. 

Model clauses

eSafety's suggested model clauses for due diligence and pre-conditions to funding can be implemented before proceeding to a formal funding agreement or used as a condition of funding.

Download and use the template at the base of this page or adapt the content to ensure that online safety considerations are built into your investment.

More information

For more information, please read about Safety by Design initiatives. We regularly add to our resources, so please check back soon.