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

COVID-19 Alert

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) it may take longer than usual to address all reports or enquiries made with our investigation teams.

Please continue to submit reports and we will review them as soon as possible.

If you are worried about your safety or are at risk of harm right now contact police immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).

If you need someone to talk to and are under 25, contact Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).
For all other ages, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

What we can't investigate

The Cyber Report team can only investigate complaints about offensive and illegal online material.

Stay safe

If someone is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000) now.

 

Online child sexual exploitation, including online grooming and inappropriate contact, should be reported to the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE). If you are concerned about the possibility that your child is at risk, or you know of a child possibly at risk, act on it.

 

The ACCCE uses the internationally recognised Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) logo and report abuse button to support VGT’s delivery of a coordinated international law enforcement response to online child sexual abuse. Make a report to the AFP at thinkuknow.org.au/report

 

Report Abuse

 

Reports can also be made in confidence to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at crimestoppers.com.au.

Grooming and procuring of children over the internet are crimes that are investigated by the police. Online child sexual exploitation, including online grooming and inappropriate contact, should be reported to the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation. If you are concerned about the possibility that your child is at risk, or you know of a child possibly at risk, act on it.

If you want to make a report in confidence, you can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Cyberbullying and harassment

If an Australian child has been the target of serious cyberbullying you can make a cyberbullying complaint to eSafety. Reports about serious cyberbullying affecting an Australian child can be made by the child, their parent or guardian, or a responsible person under the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 (Cth).

If you are an adult who is the target of serious online bullying, harassment or threats, read our advice on how to take control in cases of cyber abuse.

If the bullying and harassment is occurring on social media, many social media sites encourage users to report inappropriate activity. Once notified, moderators may take action. You can find online safety advice and reporting links in the eSafety Guide.

Cybercrime

If you are concerned about cybercrime, you can find more information, including about how to report, at www.cyber.gov.au. Cybercrime includes computer hacking, malicious software, phishing, identity theft, online scams, and fraud.

Defamation

We recommend you seek independent legal advice if you have concerns about defamation. You may be able to contact the administrators of the website and request that the content be removed. Once notified, website administrators may take action.

Online scams

You can report online scams to SCAMwatch, which provides information about how to recognise, avoid and report online scams. If fraudulent, incorrect, inaccurate or misleading online content seems to have originated from an Australian business, contact the Fair Trading organisation in your state or territory. These are listed on the SCAMwatch website.

Privacy

Complaints about the mishandling of personal details by a Commonwealth or ACT government agency, or a private sector organisation can be made to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. You may be able to contact the administrators of the website and request that the content be removed. Once notified, website administrators may take action.

If your personal safety is at risk please contact your local police. If you are in immediate danger call Triple Zero (000).

Racism and discrimination

We don’t generally investigate online discrimination. But if you are under 18 and experiencing racism or discrimination as part of cyberbullying, you can make a cyberbullying complaint to eSafety. If you are 18 and over and experiencing racism or discrimination as part of online abuse and harassment, read our advice on how to deal with adult cyber abuse.

The Australian Human Rights Commission investigates complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying based on a person’s sex, disability, race or age. Find out more on their complaint information page.

If your personal safety is at risk, please contact your local police. If you are in immediate danger call Triple Zero (000).

You may also wish to seek independent legal advice to determine other avenues of action.

Spam

You can report spam received by junk email, instant message, text or image-based mobile phone message via the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s spam complaint form.

Copyright

If you believe certain online content infringes your intellectual property rights or copyright law, consider seeking independent legal advice to determine the appropriate legal options available to you.

Further information is available from the Australian Copyright Council and IP Australia.

If you have concerns about the copyright theft of a film or television program, you can report the matter to the Australian Screen Association.