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Unwanted contact

Unwanted contact is any type of online communication that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. It can be with a stranger or someone you know.

This page offers general advice. Targeted information is also available for Kids, young people, parents and anyone experiencing unwanted contact as part of domestic and family violence.

Unwanted contact can include:

  • being asked inappropriate or personal questions
  • being sent offensive content
  • being asked to send intimate images or do things online that make you feel uncomfortable

What to do?

If contact with a stranger, or someone you know, makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, stop responding to the other person straight away.

Screenshot evidence

It’s best to take screenshots of anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. This can be useful if it becomes necessary to track the person responsible for the unwanted contact.

Report and block

Once you have all your screenshots, you can report the unwanted contact directly to the website or social media service and then block the other person’s account to prevent them sending you further messages.

You can also contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and/or telephone provider. There are actions that they can take to help you. For more info see the eSafety Guide.

Report to eSafety

If the unwanted contact continues, get help. You might be able to make a cyberbullying report to us, if you are under 18. If you are over 18, read our advice on adult cyber abuse.

If you’re concerned about abhorrent violent material or illegal content online, let our Cyber Report team know. This can include material that shows child sexual exploitation and abuse, and content advocating a terrorist act. Reports can be made anonymously.

Report to police

If you feel you are in immediate danger, contact your local police, or in an emergency call triple 000.

If you are concerned about criminal activity — including online paedophile activity — contact your local police or call Crime Stoppers toll free on 1800 333 000. Reports to Crime Stoppers can be made in confidence on 1800 333 000.

How to protect yourself

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from unwanted contact online.

Make your accounts private

By adjusting your privacy settings, you can stay in control of who sees what you post online and who can contact you directly.

For example, you can update your settings to only accept messages from people on your ‘friends’ list.

It’s also a good idea to check your location sharing options to make sure your location is only visible to you or to specific friends.

If you want to know how to check what is public, see our advice on managing your digital reputation.

You could even sit down for 30 minutes and check all the privacy settings in your social media apps – it will be time well spent!

For more information on privacy settings see the eSafety Guide.

Get help and support

Find a counselling and support service that is right for you.