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Privacy and security

About this resource

This classroom activity is designed to empower students to protect their online privacy and personal information that identifies them. Students will learn about the skills required to create safer online environments.

Target audience


Middle primary, Upper primary


Online security, Respectful online relationships, Digital reputation, Cyberbullying

Type of resource

Animated slide deck video, lesson plan, student worksheet and student follow-up activities


20 to 30 minutes for slide deck session plus discussion and follow-up activities

Australian curriculum

Key learning areas

Technologies, Health and Physical Education

General capabilities

ICT Capability, Ethical Understandings, Personal and Social Capability

Key outcomes

By the end of the learning students will be able to:

  • explore what privacy and personal information means
  • understand the definition of an ‘online stranger’ 
  • develop strategies and skills to keep their accounts secure 
  • learn where to go for help and support.

Using this resource

To use this resource:

  • watch the animated slide deck with your class and support students to complete the worksheet
  • use the student follow-up activities to extend or follow-up the lesson, or give to students to complete at home
  • encourage students to take their worksheets home to share with their family.

Watch the animated slide deck


Thank you for inviting eSafety into your classroom.

Today we're going to explore what privacy means when you're online.

We'll also talk about what personal information means.

We'll show you how to secure your online accounts and we'll let you know where to go for help and support if something goes wrong.

You'll have the chance to get involved in different ways.

There'll be opportunities for you to reflect and think about ideas.

We'll have some poll questions which your teachers can help you with, and there'll be opportunities for discussion with your teacher, friends and classmates.

You should have a worksheet. If you don't, that's OK. You can use a piece of paper.

When you see the worksheet symbol or icon that has the paper and the pen, you'll be asked to write on your worksheet or piece of paper.

The worksheet is important because we'd like you to share what you learned today with people at home.

As children get older, they spend more time online.

eSafety Research, Mind the Gap - Aussie Kids Online told us that 81% of children aged between eight and 10 watched online video clips, and this increased to 88% for kids aged 11 to 13.

There were more kids gaming alone or with others as they got older too, and 22% of eight to 10 year olds visited social media sites compared to 46% of 11 to 13 year olds.

Let's take a look at the first question on your worksheet.

Do you think you are spending more time online as you get older?

Don't forget to circle the answer on the worksheet. You can choose yes, heaps more, about the same, or I go online less.

The more time you spend online, the more content you'll see.

Some of this content might be fun, educational and creative, but it may also include fake news or scams.

You might even come across impersonators.

That's why it's important to secure your devices to prevent something going wrong. 

For example, some people have been tricked by scams and paid money for puppies that were never delivered. 

There are lots of fake news stories online as well, like fake information about how to win money.

Let's do an exercise together. 

Imagine your device, whether it's a phone, tablet, or laptop, is like a huge house with lots of rooms.

There are heaps of fun things that you can do in this house.

You might spend time playing games, doing puzzles or chatting.
Inside the house are all the things you care about and want to protect, like the people you love, your clothes, toys, musical instruments and sporting gear.

Everyone's house has different home security settings.

Most houses have locks with keys, doors and fly screens, and you might have security cameras.

Some houses have doorbells where you can see on a phone who is at the front door even when you are not home, when you have family and friends over.

There are some areas that you allow your visitors, and then there may be other rooms where there is more security like bedrooms, bathrooms, or toilets where you need extra privacy or a study where there are special documents that you want to keep safe and private.

Now let's look at how privacy works online. 

On your worksheet, circle the option that you think explains this the best.

Do you think that privacy is: 
A, about locking your online accounts? B, about controlling your personal information online so others can't use it? Or C, about making sure nobody makes fun of you online?

Which one do you think is the best definition of privacy online?

Your teacher might like to pause here so you can discuss and record your answers.

All of the answers are correct, but the best answer is B.

Privacy is about controlling your personal information online so others can't use it.

It's hard to keep all your personal information a secret because we live in a world where we shop online and interact with others.

There will be times when we have to share personal information, but we want to be able to control and choose who sees our information and what others might do with that information.

Sometimes privacy is breached.

You may have heard about information being stolen that adults had shared with banks, phone companies, and health funds.

There are many ways people can access you online.

People can knock on your digital door through messages that pop up on your computer or tablet.

They might ask to download something or try to tell you that there's a problem with your computer like a virus or a corrupted file.

It could also be someone asking you to be a friend on chat or asking you to do duets on TikTok.

So what do you do when you see something you are not sure is right?

How do you decide who or what you respond to?

Like your house, you can make your online world more secure and control who you interact with and what you let them see.

One of the first things to remember is that you don't have to say yes every time someone wants to connect with you online.

Stop and take a minute to think when someone wants to friend you or send you a direct message on social media. Can you trust them?

You know a lot of people at school and through activities you do outside of school, but would you be comfortable letting them all into your room to hang out?

It's the same when you're online.

So when a friend of a friend or someone you don't know very well wants to connect or chat, run them past your trust detector because you don't have to let them in.

Just like you don't have to let everyone into your house that knocks on your front door.

Think about your experience.

Has a stranger ever contacted you on the internet?

Use your worksheet to record your answer.

Your teacher might like to pause here so you can discuss and record your answers.

If you get a friend request from someone you don't know. What do you think?

What are three questions you could ask yourself if a person wanted to be friends online and you did not know them?

Write your answers on the worksheet at 2A.

Your teacher might like to pause here so you can discuss and record your answers.

You might have written some of the following responses.

If you like, you can add to your answers as we go. 

You could ask:

Who is this person?

How do you know them?

How do you know they are who they say they are?

Why do they want to be friends?

How did your settings allow them to connect with you?

These are just some of the ways you could think about this and there may be more.

Thanks for coming up with your questions. Well done.

Using the same process, let's think of three questions you could ask yourself if an online friendship felt unsafe, strange, or uncomfortable,

You might like to pause here so you can discuss and record your answers.

You could ask: 

Does their online profile match what I hear when I chat with them? 

Why do they want to meet in person? 

Why are they contacting me all of the time or why are they commenting on the way I'm dressed or on my body?

Why are they telling me their webcam is broken?

Why are they asking me to keep this friendship secret?

Sometimes it's hard to pinpoint just what is wrong, but trust your feelings and ask for help if you need to.

We asked students from years four and five warning signs they looked for when someone was unsafe to talk to online.

They said that the person might use adult emojis, act obsessed with you or get angry and have an impatient tone in their voice.

Their messages could include words that are rude or they might say things only adults say.

They could say creepy stuff that makes you feel uncomfortable or be clingy and pushy or act in a way that's way too friendly.

It might not always be a stranger who makes you feel uncomfortable online.

It could be a family member or friend. 

If anyone, whether they're a friend or a stranger sends you a message that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, tell your mum, dad, carer or an adult you trust straight away, and remember, don't meet up with friends who you have only met online.

It's best to keep online friends online.

It's OK to chat to other kids in online games, for example, but don't meet up with them in person. 

If they do suggest meeting up, talk to your trusted adult about it.

In this activity, we look at how your personal information is like the key to your house, but what do we mean when we say personal?

Let's see if you can brainstorm a list of things you would describe as personal that should not be shared on the internet.

Your teacher might like to pause here so you can discuss and record your answers.

Personal information may include your full name, address, date of birth, phone number, email address, or the name of your school.

It could also include usernames and passwords for online accounts or email accounts, your parent or carer's bank or credit card details, photos that show where you live or where you go to school.

Well done.

Sometimes you do have to give out personal information. However, it's best to check with adults when you have to do this so you can do it safely.

Let's think of ways to keep personal information secure.

You can talk about it with the person next to you if you like.

Add your ideas to the worksheet.

Your teacher might like to pause here so you can discuss and record your answers.

Here are some of the ways you can keep information secure. 

Set strong, secure passwords.

Keep your passwords secret and don't share them with anyone.

Ask an adult before you sign up.

Only open emails or texts from people you know in real life. Messages from people you don't know could have a virus or malware.

1emember to use privacy settings. Be careful what you share.

Use built-in security features and make sure functions like find my phone are set up on your device.

It's good to update your operating system software and apps to make sure you have the most up-to-date security features too.

You can take these sheets home and ask your mum, dad or carer to go through these tips together so you can keep your phone, tablet, or computer safe.

We often talk about changing the settings on your favorite apps, but how many of you know how to do this?

Do you know how to change the settings on your personal apps? 

Circle either 'yes' or 'no', or 'I do on some apps' to answer this question.

The eSafety Guide includes information about different games, apps and social media including how to protect your information and report harmful content. 
You might like to get your teacher, parents or carers to help you to look at the guide, which is on the eSafety website.

The eSafety Guide gives you information about popular platforms like Roblox, YouTube Kids, Lego Life, and Minecraft.

It also tells you some of the risks and how you can keep yourself safe.

You might like to get help and use the guide to change your settings.

Sometimes despite our best efforts, things can go wrong when you're online. 

Even though there are lots of really fun and useful things online, there are also some things that are not nice.

Maybe you clicked on a link and saw something you didn't like.

Perhaps someone sent you an image or video that made you feel yucky, uncomfortable, unsafe, or scared, or someone is leaving messages, posts or comments that are mean or they might be leaving you out or ignoring you online.

If someone you don't know sends you a message or you receive something that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, tell your mum, dad, carer or an adult you trust straight away.

Take screenshots as evidence and learn how to report and block them so you don't have to keep chatting.

There is support available for you when things go wrong online.

You can talk to your family and friends.

You can call or web chat with a counsellor at Kids Helpline. They're trained to help people, especially kids.

Think about making a list of people you trust who you could talk to if something doesn't feel right online. 

Remember, you can get in touch with eSafety too. We can give you advice, support, and help if you're being bullied online.

We can also help remove serious cyberbullying material that is threatening, intimidating, harassing or humiliating.

All you have to do is follow these simple steps.

Start by telling someone you trust and ask them to help you.

Then collect evidence, report it, stop contact and get more help if you need it.

Visit the eSafety Kids pages for more tips.

You can find out what to do if you see something you don't like online, you think something is fake or someone is being mean online.

Plus how to deal with other online issues that come up.

You now have all the information to complete your worksheet, but your job is not over.

Your teachers have been given follow-up activities that you can do.

If you have time, you can explore eSafety Kids pages whenever you like.

You might like to share your worksheet with your parents and carers and ask them some of the questions we discussed to see if their answers are similar to yours.

You can even suggest that they read the online advice for parents and carers on our website too.

Have a look at the Be Secure Education pages on the eSafety website.

There's a video, lesson plans and a fun quiz where you can earn eSafety certificates.

You can also use the lessons to develop a personal online safety plan.

I hope you've had fun and learned some really helpful tips today.

Thanks for joining us. 

Remember, stay safe and be kind at home, at school and online.

Privacy and security

Learn about the skills required to create safer online environments.

eSafety’s Best Practice Framework for Online Safety Education has been used to develop this resource. eSafety recommends educators use these resources as part of a whole-school approach to online safety.