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 is cyber abuse?

Cyber abuse is online behaviour that is reasonably likely to have a seriously threatening, intimidating, harassing or humiliating effect on a person.

It is behaviour that threatens to hurt a person socially, psychologically or even physically. Cyber abuse can take many forms, including trolling, cyberbullying and image-based abuse.

Types of cyber abuse

Trolling

I have received sustained severe abuse or harrasment, this includes physical threats, stalking and/or sexual harrassment.

Image-based abuse

Someone is sharing or threatening to share intimate images of me without my consent.

Sextortion

Someone is using intimate images to blackmail me

Impersonation/Fake account

A fake social media account has been setup in my name.

Doxing

My personal details have been shared or publicised online. It may result in offensive comments and unwanted calls or visits from strangers.

DeepFakes/Morphing/FaceSwapping

My face has been morphed onto another person’s body in sexually explicit material posted online.

Defamatory comments

Someone has posted defamatory comments intended to harm my reputation

Impacts of cyber abuse

Cyber abuse can have a devastating impact. It can affect women’s wellbeing, mental health, confidence, relationships and sense of safety.

It can also lead to women stepping back from public conversations or self-censoring out of fear for their privacy and safety.

Cyber abuse can quickly intensify in scale and nature. It can also feel deeply personal.

It is important to remember that cyber abuse is not about you; it reflects on the person who is abusing you.

Take action