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.

Starting out

When you get a new device, download an app or go on a website for the first time, there are some steps you can take to keep yourself safe.

Tips for when you are starting out

  • Look closely at user agreements, terms and conditions or disclaimers.
  • Check whether use of the device, app or website involves any security, privacy or cookie policies or third-party information sharing — check the eSafety guide for advice on privacy settings and how to protect your personal information.
  • Set up a secure password or passphrase — a longer password that is more secure. See protecting personal information, which includes advice on setting up strong passwords.
  • See our pages on phones and tablets and laptops and computers for ways to manage the security of your devices. 

Remember

  • Only provide as much information as an app or website requires you to (usually indicated with an asterisk*). 
  • Consider using an email account as your contact that does not use your name. For example, use SomethingGeneric@email.com, but not YourRealName@email.com.
  • Check options to hide your location and consider whether you will be able to hide your information from the provider or from other users.
  • Where appropriate, check your account and settings (usually located under a wheel symbol) to ensure that you are not sharing anything you wish to keep private. It is a good idea to check your privacy settings regularly as new device and software updates sometimes involve updates to default privacy settings.
  • Visit the eSafety Guide for online safety information, links to privacy settings and safety centres for individual apps, games, social media services, websites and browsers.