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Connecting safely

Connecting safely

Technology has changed the way we share knowledge and tell stories.

We don’t just do this face-to-face or on the phone. These days we need to know how to connect with each other safely online.

These tips help you to keep safe and get support if you need it.

On this page:

Taking care of yourself online


Many of us mob use social media to stay connected to one another, but sometimes people online don't do the right thing.

They can make fake accounts to threaten or blackmail you, they might say racist things or send you upsetting pictures or videos.

Abuse online is just as wrong as it is in person, but there is something you can do about it.

If any abuse happens to you, remember to take pictures or screenshots.

You can use these to report it to the social media app or website where it was posted so they can help.

If there's no response, the eSafety website can tell you what steps to take next. They may be able to remove the harmful content and sometimes take action against the app or site if they don't help. 

You should also change your privacy and security settings, so you only connect with people that you know and trust. 

You're not alone, and there are ways to stay safe.

The eSafety website has tips about how to report abuse and be safe online.

You can also speak with your local ACCO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Organisation or legal service for further advice.

Let's take care of ourselves and each other so we can all stay safe online.

Video: Connecting safely online

Watch this video in other First Nations languages.

Would you like hands-on training to support you and your community to be deadly online?


Our Strong People, Safe Spaces training is free for all First Nations people who have an active online presence. It’s also for First Nations organisations and businesses that use social media to engage with their clients.


To find out more, fill out our contact us form.

Think before you share

Sharing strengthens our identity, culture and connections with each other. But not when it hurts us or our mob.

Once something is posted online, it's there for everyone to see. You can lose control of it. Sharing harmful things can upset some people and make trouble. 

Ask yourself:

  • Why do I want to share this online?
  • Am I being respectful, or will it stir up trouble? 
  • Will people be interested?
  • Is the other person OK if I share a video or photo of them on the internet?

If you’re unsure, talk to someone you trust about other ways to share your message instead of using social media.

Visual Audio

Laila films Ryan as he skateboards off a roof. Ryan lands on his stomach as the skateboard hits him in the head.

Ryan: [Laughs] Check this!

Laila: Oy! Go now, Ryan!

Ryan: Woah-ahh! [Splat]

Everyone: [Laughter]

Ryan: Oh! Ooh.

Ryan's follower: That was brutal!

Ryan is at work at the cinema. Laila films him mixing lots of ingredients, including vinegar and chillies, in a blender. He drinks the spicy mixture and then drinks straight from the slushy machine. 

Ryan: Eh, some of this. Yep. All right. 

[Blender whizzing]

Glug, glug, glug – bleeeeaaaahh!

Everyone: [Laughter]

Laila films as Ryan and his friends ride in shopping trolleys down a hill and crash into a tree. Aunty Em watches on. Laila then films Aunty Em yelling at them.

All: Whoa! Ah! [Splat]


Aunty Em: Serves you right if you break your bloody neck, you bunch of idiots! And don't you put me on the internet thingy. People might come and rob me!

Ryan: Don't worry, Aunty Em. You got nothing worth stealing.

Aunty Em: Ryan Stokes, don't you dare give me cheek! I wiped your bum when you were a baby!

All: [Laughter]

Ryan makes a video remix using the footage of him doing dumb stuff and Aunty Em yelling. He posts it online.

Ryan: OK. Here we go. [Plays video]

[Rap beat playing]

Aunty Em: [Singing] Internet thingy! Internet thingy! Wiped your bum on the internet thingy! Rob me! Rob me! Internet thingy! Don't put me on the internet thingy!

Ryan heads into his work at the cinema where his coworker Kira and manager Phillip are already working.

A fan outside the cinema: Awes vids dude!

Ryan: Ta bros.

Kira: Ryan, why'd you post that video everywhere? Phillip will see it for sure.

Ryan: [Laughs] Naw, he loves it. He'll piss himself laughing.

In Phillip's office.

Phillip: Hah. This is hilarious, bro! You're living dangerously making fun of Aunty Em, though.

Ryan: Just jokes, boss.

Phillip: But what's with you drinking out of the slushy machine without a cup? Hardly hygienic.

Ryan: Sorry. Didn't think.

Phillip: And wearing your work shirt when you're up to all that dumb stuff?

Ryan: Sorry, didn't...

Phillip: Think. Well, now you'll have plenty of time to think.

Ryan: Huh?

Phillip: I have to let you go, mate. Nothing personal. Keep the vids coming, though. They really do make me piss myself laughing.

Aunty Em sings.

Aunty Em: [Singing] Internet thingy! Internet thingy! Don't post dumb stuff on the internet thingy! Learn all about your security settings. They'll help you stay safe on the internet thingy.

For more information about protecting your digital footprint, visit the eSafety website:

Narrator: Think twice about who can see your dumb stuff. Once it's online, your business becomes everyone's business.

Video: Dumb stuff

Find out what happens to Ryan when he posts ‘dumb stuff’ on the internet and loses control of his posts. Warning: This video contains swearing.

Keep your accounts safe

We use accounts to keep in touch and do things on websites and apps, like banking and gaming. Keep your private information safe with these tips: 

  • Set strong passwords, or ‘passphrases’, that are hard to guess.
  • Turn your privacy settings on and check them often. 
  • Log out before you share your phone or computer.
  • Trust your gut – if something doesn’t feel right, talk to someone you can trust. 

Watch these videos to find out how to get extra security and set strong passcodes.


Lock codes prevent others accessing a phone or tablet, and the contacts, emails and other account information within.

A lock code is like a combination for a safe.

It has to be entered before a device will open.

It can be a series of numbers or a mix of numbers and letters.

For later model Android devices, a finger print or pattern can be used.

Because a phone or tablet contains your personal information, passcodes should be hard for other people to guess.

The example we showed should be similar on most Android devices.

To set your lock code open settings.

Go to lock screen and security.

Select screen lock type.

Create a lock code that is at least six digits long.

Eight digits is ideal as it is harder to guess.

Remember, don't use birth dates, names or addresses.

For extra security, [use] touch fingerprint.

Select add finger print and follow the directions.

Many later model Android phones and tablets offer iris eye scanners and facial recognition for security.

The iris scanning technology is good at only allowing people with matching iris
features into the device.

To set up iris scanning on the Samsung S eight open settings.

Lock screen and security.

Tap iris scanner and enter the lock code password or pattern if asked.

If an iris is not yet registered the phone will walk the user through the process.

To change the iris scan the user must first unlock the phone before being allowed to register a new iris scan.

Some android devices offer facial recognition security.

It is important to know that the facial recognition security offered on some Android phones is not yet secure.

People have been able to access Android devices using faces with similar features.

Anyone at risk of technology-facilitated abuse should not use facial recognition to secure their Android device at this stage.

Setting a strong lock code to protect Android phones and tablets


Two-factor authentication is an increasingly common way to protect the online security of personal information.

When you log into an online account with your username and password you're using single-factor authentication.

With two-factor authentication, you need something extra to access your accounts, like an SMS code sent to your mobile phone, or something physical like a fingerprint.

If you need verification code sent to your mobile phone to authorise activity on your bank accounts, then you're already using two-factor authentication.

This extra layer of security afforded by two-factor authentication makes hacking of any of your accounts much harder.

Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon all offer two-factor authentication, and encourage users to adopt it.

Many banks insist on it.

While using two-factor authentication makes things more secure, it's not a 100% guarantee of security.

So it's important to adopt and maintain good online security habits.

These include, setting strong passwords, not sharing your passwords with others, and not leaving your phone unattended.

You might want to also watch our separate videos on how to setup two-factor authentication on Google and Twitter.

Two-factor authentication for extra security

Watch more videos with safety tips for the devices most relevant to you.

Help young people be safe

Young people sometimes need our help to make good choices online. Watch these videos and find out how to support them.


You wouldn't invite a stranger into your home or bedroom, right? But that's what's really happening if someone you don't know contacts you online, which happens to one in four young people like me. 

There's no way of telling if the person is who they say they are. 

So if they ask you for favours, say they like your body or your appearance, ask personal things, want photos of you or want to meet you? Tell someone straight away. 

You can also stop responding to them, block and report them and make your accounts private. The eSafety Guide has tips on how to do this.

But most importantly, if you think something's not right, trust your instincts and tell people straight away.

Because staying safe means staying safe online too.

For more information on how to stay safe online, visit 

Funding for this project has provided through the eSafety Online Safety Grants program, an Australian Government initiative.

Dealing with strangers online

Help your kids to recognise the dangers of talking to strangers online.

Young boy: Hey, Dad. Mind if I head off to that party and hang out with those guys.

Dad: We all have rules to help keep our kids safe at home and in the Community, right? So it should be the same when they have a smartphone. 

We need to set up some clear boundaries to keep them safe.

Here’s some that you and your kids might want to agree on. 

No phones after a certain time and keep it to a daily screen time limit, like one hour on school nights. 

No sharing their passwords with others or sharing their real name, age and address when posting, talking to strangers or on sites where anyone can see it.

Be kind to people and don't take or share photos of others without their permission. 

And remember, you can use technology tools to help set the boundaries to keep your child safe, like using parental controls to help manage their privacy and the types of content they can access, because having some rules to keep our kids safe means rules for using their phones too.

For more information on how to stay safe online, visit 

Funding for this project was provided through the eSafety Online Safety Grants program, an Australian Government initiative.

Setting online boundaries

Set boundaries with your kids to keep them safe online.

These videos were developed by Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media (QRAM) and funded by the eSafety Online Safety Grants Program. Watch more on our page about online hate and abuse.

Find out more about cyberbullying and how you can help young mob to deal with it.


Let's go on a journey.

A long time ago in the Dreaming, stories were formed and told the old way, person to person.

These stories have left footprints for generations to follow.

These days, technology has changed the way we share and tell our stories.

[Reads title] Digital Footprint, Online Business is Everyone's Business.

As soon as we go online our digital footprint begins.

How we look after our digital footprint will impact on how our future generations will understand and see our culture.

What you text and post goes further than your own mob's Country.

So it's real important that we build a strong digital footprint by being deadly in everything we say and do online.

Texting and using social networking sites shapes how people see you now and into the future.

A bad digital footprint can damage friendships, break relationships, hurt job chances and bring shame to your mob.

It can lead to payback and violence between families and community.

All right you mob, I want you to go out there and be the best you can be. 

You’re in control of what you do online.

You kids are our future.

And I know you can do the right thing by looking after your mates, respecting our culture and being positive when you go online.

You want to build a strong digital footprint. 

Bring some pride to you and your mob by being respectful when you're online.

Remember online business is everyone's business.

What you post today can come right back to your mob like boomerang.

Under 25? Worried about your digital footprint?

You can make a free call to Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Video: Digital footprint

What you text or post online goes further than your own mob’s Country so be deadly with everything you say and do online.

Protect your device and avoid scams

Use these tips from our series called 'Your Online Journey' to protect your personal information, stay safe and deal with online scams.


There are lots of benefits to doing things online, but there are also things to watch out for.

You need to be careful to protect yourself, your information and your devices from people who lie and try to steal from you.

In this topic, you'll find out how to protect your device using passwords and security settings. You'll also learn about some common ways people can lie or fool you, and how to avoid them.

And if you're using the internet to pay for things online, how you can do it safely.

Video: Putting online safety first

Leila Gurruwiwi talks about the tips shared in 'Your Online Journey' and how they can help to avoid trouble.

LISTEN NOW: Find out how to protect yourself online

LISTEN NOW: Learn how to protect your information

LISTEN NOW: Keep your online devices secure

LISTEN NOW: Find out about online scams


Find out more about Your Online Journey and how to download the app.

What if something goes wrong?

There are things you can do if someone’s sharing harmful content on the internet.

You could start by talking to a support worker or someone you can trust. They can help you to find information on the eSafety website, like how to make a report and deal with:   

Report now

Get confidential help from a support service


Confidential, culturally safe crisis support line for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Available all day, every day.

Kids Helpline

5 to 25 year olds. All issues. Confidential phone counselling available all day, every day. Online chat available 24/7, 365 days a year.

More support services

Last updated: 12/02/2024