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

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. 


  • 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, but not
  • 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.