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

Sporting organisations, clubs and community groups

Sporting organisations, clubs and community groups have an important role to play in keeping children and young people safe online.  

eSafety offers a range of resources to help sporting organisations, clubs and community groups review and improve their online safety policies and practices. 

Building a culture of online safety 

Building a culture of online safety means identifying online risks and implementing strategies that involve managers, officials, participants, parents/carers, coaches and volunteers. 

Like schools, all sporting organisations, clubs and community groups should have policies and processes in place for:

  • social media use
  • taking, storing and sharing photos and videos 
  • reporting online safety incidents.

Use our checklists and resources to review and improve your organisation’s online safety policies and practices. They can help identify better ways of managing social media and online behaviour to promote a culture of online safety. 


Tips for managing photos and videos 

You can find guidelines for taking photos or videos of children and young people at events at Play by the Rules.


Tips for sports administrators 

This checklist outlines key online safety messages for sports administrators to consider when working with their coaches. It includes scenarios that could be used in a training context to highlight online risks and discuss risk mitigation strategies. It may also be relevant to school Heads of Sport. 


Tips for coaches 

This checklist includes helpful tips for coaches to build a team culture that values online safety. This includes establishing online boundaries, reporting processes, the use of photos and videos and setting a positive social media agenda with your team. 


Most online fundraising platforms require the person doing the fundraising to set up a public profile, which may include their photo and personal information such as their name and school or organisation. This can put children and young people at risk of online harms such as contact from strangers and identity theft. 

Risk assessment

Make sure you do a thorough risk assessment before your community uses online fundraising. If any photos or personal information of children or young people will be displayed publicly, consider using a different platform or fundraising method. If you decide to go ahead, the risks and safety features must be clearly communicated with parents and carers and their written consent must be given before the child is allowed to participate.

Your risk assessment should check if the platform has safety and security features such as:

  • password protection
  • the option of using a pseudonym
  • privacy settings (following the Australian Privacy Principles)
  • a moderator for chat or comment functions
  • clear procedures for in-app reporting of problems, misuse or abuse.

Also check if the platform has features which may put children or young people at risk. Include the following questions:

  • Does it require the fundraiser's personal information to be displayed publicly, such as their name and other identifiers like their organisation, date of birth or gender?
  • Is the fundraiser's profile linked to apps that may display their location?
  • Is the personal information of donors displayed, even if they are also children or young people?
  • Does it allow data about the fundraiser or donors to be shared with other apps and sites? 
  • Does it encourage children or young people to contact people they don't already know?
  • Is there any potential for unsafe of unwanted contact?
  • Is there any potential for data theft?