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

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Social media checklist

This checklist will help you think about how you can use social media more safely, so you can stay connected to trusted friends, family and support networks.

The following tips are for anyone who is experiencing-technology facilitated abuse as part of domestic and family violence. There is also an online safety checklist and a checklist for friends and family.

If you are affected by technology-facilitated abuse you can help to protect yourself by

Checking the privacy settings for all online accounts, including children’s accounts. For more information about privacy settings in individual social media services see the eSafety Guide.

Checking settings regularly — updates to software and platforms can sometimes change the way privacy settings work, making posts more public than expected.

Being careful who to accept as a friend online and thinking about what your friends can share. ‘Friends’ (and also ‘followers’ of any pages you might run) can take screenshots of posts or save photos and videos and share them with others — even when you think they are private.

Setting personal rules about what to post. This could include avoiding posting anything that might put you at risk, affect your reputation or be used against you or your family, especially in court proceedings. 

What might your personal rules for using social media look like

  • Not posting personal details such as your address, email address, phone number and birthdate.
  • Thinking about how much identifying information is in the photos or videos you plan to share. Could someone find out where you are if you or your children are pictured at a well-known venue or at someone’s house? Could an abuser work out regular patterns in your day-to-day routine?
  • Not checking yourself or your children into places or venues.
  • Not adding hashtags to anything you do not want to become public.
  • Disabling location services on all your, and your children’s, devices.
  • Asking friends and family not to check you or your children in, ‘tag’ them or post anything about you publicly.
  • Changing settings in order to prevent others tagging you or checking you or your children in without your approval.

Social media planning is something you should do regularly

Safety planning is not something you do once and then forget about. It is something you need to do regularly. So set a time to go over your safety plans, including your personal rules for using social media, every month.

‘How to’ videos

Our video library is full of useful ‘how to’ videos showing how to secure your online accounts and devices.

Go to videos