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Online safety for every family  

All parents want their children to be safe when learning and playing online.

These short videos and easy-to-read advice sheets will give you the confidence to talk with your children about online safety. They include tips to help them stay safe, and important information about what to do if something bad does happen online.

They are also available in languages other than English:

Helping your family stay safe online  

Learn how to keep your family safe online, including:

  • why online safety is important 
  • how eSafety can help 
  • setting up family online safety rules 
  • conversation ideas and tips. 

Video

Click the video to watch. 

Audio

Our son Rav spends a lot of time online. 

We noticed that after using the internet, he was very quiet.

We wanted to talk to him but didn't know how.

We went online ourselves to see what we could do and came across the eSafety website.

We realised how important it was to talk as a family about being online.

Being interested in what he's doing and talking to him about his experiences online is one of the best ways to help keep him safe.

So we asked him about apps he likes to use and what social media platforms he was on.

We found that the videos he watches are mostly funny.

We told him that if you're worried about something online, tell us.

You won't be in trouble and we won't take away your phone or your computer.

So we set up some family rules for using the internet, like what activities are OK, how long we can play for, and we agree on where in the house we use devices and who can help us with issues.

Rav didn't want rules. It wasn't an easy talk, but we knew it was an important thing to do.

A few days later, he told me about a video that was being shared around.

It was quite violent. Rav was really upset by it.

I asked him how seeing the video made him feel and together we decided to report it.

We went to the eSafety website and followed the advice about reporting harmful content.

Now we talk often with the kids about what they're doing online – on the way home from school, over dinner, or if we see something in the news.

To help keep your family safe online, talk regularly about online safety.

Create family rules about using technology.

Get more help from the eSafety website.

For more information about keeping your family safe online, visit esafety.gov.au/parents

Helping your family stay safe online (English)

Advice sheet

Click the link to download the advice sheet, then open it to read.

Getting started with social media 

Understand social media for children and young people, so you can:

  • talk with your child about social media 
  • set up their online account 
  • use social media safely 
  • report problems.

Video

Click the video to watch. 

Audio

My 13-year-old daughter, Anita, really wanted to be on social media.

Even though I was against it at first, I knew her cousins were on it, and I didn't want her to feel like she was being left behind, but I wasn't sure if she was ready for it either.

Social media can be a good way to stay in touch with friends and family and to have fun, but I know there are risks.

A friend told us The eSafety Guide had helpful information about the most popular social media apps and games and how the settings can protect privacy.

It also showed us the recommended ages for most apps.

We saw that many apps didn't allow users under 13 and some had special privacy settings for younger users.

I talked with my daughter about what social media accounts she wanted and we decided which ones were right for her and how she would use them safely.

We talked about the risks, like seeing harmful or upsetting content or being sent scary or threatening messages and we looked at how to report things like nasty or racist comments or when something might be unsafe, like when someone pretends to be a different person.

We talked about what is OK and not OK to share on social media, how some things should be kept private, like where we live and her school, and how sometimes things that people share online are not real or are made to look better than in real life.

So she should try to be herself and not to compare herself to others and, most importantly, I let her know that she can always come to me or an adult she trusts if she's having issues online or needs to talk.

And she can also get more help from eSafety, or speak to a counsellor at Kids Helpline.

We may not have all the answers, but it's important that we're there to support her and help her figure it out.

Here are our tips for staying safe on social media:

Use The eSafety Guide to learn more about social media and apps.

Talk about what is OK and not OK to share on social media.

Let them know where to go for help.

For more information about keeping your family safe online, visit esafety.gov.au/parents

Getting started with social media (English)

Advice sheet

Click the link to download the advice sheet, then open it to read.

Safer online gaming

Make gaming a safe and enjoyable part of family life, by learning about: 

  • setting up games so they are safe 
  • making friends in games 
  • reporting issues in games. 

Video

Click the video to watch. 

Audio

Our kids love gaming, but lately they have been spending too much time playing games online.

They were not doing their homework and it was starting to cause fights and stress in our family.

One night we heard them playing a violent game with bad language.

We decided it was time to talk and find some solutions.

We looked online and found some ideas for what to talk about on the eSafety website.

We asked them about the games they liked to play and who they play them with.

We also talked about being careful when chatting to people on games, that sometimes their online profile may look like a kid, but they might actually be an unsafe person, and how it is important to leave the chat if someone is angry, using bad language or asking personal questions.

We encourage them to report bullying, racism or abuse in a game, even if it happens in the game chat.

We were happy for the kids to enjoy gaming, but we wanted them to have time for other activities too

And we didn't want them to spend all their pocket money on things for their gaming characters, so we came up with some rules for gaming, like what games they can play and when they can play them, or if they need to do their homework first.

And the phones stay with us at night.

We use game settings to block content that isn't suitable and prevent them from buying things.

After reading some advice from eSafety about families having fun together online, we now play games with the children.

I had never played online games before, but I've had a lot of fun playing as a family. 

And I feel like I'm more involved and I know what to do if any problems come up in games.

Here are our three tips for safer online gaming:

Talk about games and play them as a family.

Use device and game settings to help manage online safety.

Help kids report abuse that happens in games.

For more information about keeping your family safe online, visit esafety.gov.au/parents

Safer online gaming (English)

Advice sheet

Click the link to download the advice sheet, then open it to read.

Getting help when your child is being bullied online 

Learn how to support your child if they are being bullied online, including how to: 

  • recognise online bullying 
  • collect information about the bullying 
  • report online bullying. 

Video

Click the video to watch. 

Audio

When my grandson, Zaki, told me he was being bullied online, I was worried.

I asked to see what was upsetting him, so he showed me one of the social media apps on his phone.

Kids from his school had posted embarrassing photos of him.

There were racist comments and some people had threatened him.

I could see that he was scared.

I was angry and my first thought was that he should delete his social media account.

But I realised it was also how he and his friends talk and support each other, and it's good that he talks with his friends.

I told him no one deserved to be bullied, especially about how they look or dress or how they are different from other people.

I asked some members of my community what they think I should do.

Someone suggested the eSafety website.

eSafety had information on cyberbullying and how I can help.

It showed us how to take a screenshot of their racist comments and to do things like write down the name of the account, when the comments were posted online, and on which social media platform.

My grandson and I then reported the problem to the social media platform.

Unfortunately, the comments were still there a few days later, and by then there was even more bullying.

We knew that eSafety could help, so we sent all the information to them.

eSafety did help.

The content is now gone, but I could see that it had hurt my grandson a lot.

I told him it might be good to talk more about what happened with a counsellor.

eSafety also suggested getting help from Kids Helpline.

He liked their online chat and it helped him feel better.

I was glad I could help him report the issue, and I could tell Zaki felt better about going to school after we had done something about the bullying.

Remember these steps:

Take pictures or screenshots of the bullying.

Report the bullying to the social media company or websites where it was posted.

If there is no response, report it to eSafety.

Help your child get support.

For more information about keeping your family safe online, visit esafety.gov.au/parents

Getting help when your child is being bullied online (English)

Advice sheet

Click the link to download the advice sheet, then open it to read.

Online safety information in languages other than English

Visit eSafety’s resources for diverse groups for online safety information translated into languages other than English.  

Be Connected has advice and online activities for everyone who needs a simple introduction to computers, smartphones, tablets and the internet.

Last updated: 12/05/2023