What we do
Our purpose is to help safeguard all Australians from online harms and to promote safer, more positive online experiences.
We use research, evidence and experience to lead and advise on online safety issues. This is how we deliver comprehensive services that are compassionate and focused on people.
We approach our work through the three lenses of prevention, protection, and proactive and systemic change:
- prevention – through research, education programs and raising awareness
- protection – through regulatory schemes and investigations, under the Online Safety Act
- proactive and systemic change – by staying ahead of technology trends, supporting industry to improve user safety standards, and strengthening our impact across borders.
We have substantial powers to protect all Australians – adults now as well as children – across most online platforms and forums where people experience abuse or harm.
We underpin our work and increase our impact by building and maintaining strategic partnerships in Australia and around the world.
We move quickly to protect people from online abuse and act as a safety net across our four reporting schemes:
- an Adult Cyber Abuse Scheme
- a Cyberbullying Scheme for Australian children
- an Image-Based Abuse Scheme
- an Online Content Scheme for illegal and restricted content.
Four reporting schemesScreen reader users: Select a button below to change content below it. You can skip to the expanded section directly by skipping to the heading.
For the first time anywhere in the world, our new Adult Cyber Abuse Scheme gives us the authority to require online service providers to remove online abuse that targets an Australian adult with the intention of causing serious harm.
Previously, we did not have the power to deal with this harm for adults. Now, we have formal powers. And they come with civil penalties for online service providers that do not comply with our removal notices.
We manage a complaints scheme for Australians under 18 who experience cyberbullying or seriously threatening, intimidating, harassing or humiliating online behaviour.
We help the young person, or their carer, report the problem to the online service provider. We also have the power to require online service providers to remove abusive material.
We can order online service providers to remove material not just from social media sites, but from online services now popular with under 18s. This includes online game chats, websites, direct messaging platforms and hosting services.
This world-first scheme recognises how damaging it can be when intimate images of someone are posted online without their consent. The scheme also recognises the hurt this can cause even if someone threatens to do this.
We can help get intimate images or video removed from online platforms and, in some cases, take action against the person who shared it.
Online service providers have 24 hours to take down intimate images or videos after getting a removal notice from us. We want online service providers to remove the content as fast as possible.
We manage a formal investigation and reporting scheme for seriously harmful illegal and restricted content.
Our Cyber Report team prioritises investigations into online child sexual exploitation material. The team and works with law enforcement and the global network INHOPE to remove this content wherever it’s hosted.
We can issue removal and remedial notices to any social media service, relevant electronic service or designated internet service that provides Australian access to illegal and restricted content.
Online safety information and guidance
Our website includes information to help Australians have safe and enjoyable experiences online. This guidance is especially designed for
- kids: fun activities and simple advice
- young people: help and advice for teenagers and young adults
- parents and carers: tips to help their children safely navigate the online world
- women: tools to help women protect themselves from risks around technology-facilitated abuse and be more confident online
- seniors: activities to increase digital skills, confidence and safety
Our website also provides guidance on specific online safety issues including:
- adult cyber abuse
- image-based abuse
- technology-related concerns for people at risk of family or domestic violence
Education and training
We offer online classroom resources, virtual classrooms and guidance for developing school online safety policies. This material helps teachers and schools guide students to become responsible digital citizens.
We promote online safety and help build relevant online safety skills among workers in frontline services and community groups. Find out more about our training for professionals and information for sporting organisations and community groups.
We conduct and evaluate educational and community awareness programs relevant to online safety. We also keep a list of trusted providers of online safety education
Special initiatives and programs
We identify risks that make people more susceptible to online harm so we can focus programs and resources on those most in need.
Our objective is to help diverse individuals build their digital resilience – their capacity to protect themselves and manage any problems they encounter online.
We offer tailored support and resources such as the Be Connected program for Australians with low digital literacy; resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples an resources in languages other than English.
We base everything we do on research and analysis.
We base all our resources, services and programs on evidence, and we support them with research into internet use, online safety and related issues.
We underpin our research with four major themes:
- tracking trends
- supporting the development of eSafety resources and programs
- inter-agency and international cooperation
- program and resource evaluation
Download our summary guide to learn more about eSafety's role and functions:
Who we work with
The nature of our business means we work with many other players in online safety in Australia and around the world.
This includes federal, state and territory government authorities, governments overseas, the technology industry, not-for-profit organistions, advocates, parents, young people and many community groups – especially those that represent our most vulnerable and marginalised citizens.
By tapping into this diverse experience and knowledge, we can continue to develop a deeper understanding of the online threats we know and prepare well for the ones we know are coming.
Read about our consultation and cooperation.