Staying safe online during the COVID-19 crisis

With the shift to online learning and everyone spending more time online, it’s important to think about your safety in that environment.

Not only are there some things that you can do to stay safe, but it’s also important to identify when someone else is making you feel unsafe and what to do if this happens.

Here’s some information to help you start looking out for your safety online.

Online safety tips

  • Check your account and settings to ensure you are not sharing anything you wish to keep private. 
  • Protect your devices — particularly Android devices — against viruses, malware and spyware. There are apps you can download to reduce the risks
  • Think about which apps really need to be able to access your location information and turn off location services for all others. If privacy or safety is a concern, do not opt in to sharing your location through apps that allow location sharing with friends.
  • Turn off your apps and browsers and cover your webcam when not in use.
  • Learn how to avoid online scams and identity theft.

Technology-facilitated abuse and COVID-19

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has seen an increase in people experiencing tech abuse such as cyber bullying, image-based abuse and ‘sextortion’. With people spending more time online everyone is more susceptible to being targeted by scammers and online abusers, so it’s important to know what to look out for.

You can find some information on technology-facilitated abuse here.

‘Sextortion’ is where scammers say they have hacked your device and now have intimate photos of you that they will distribute if you don’t pay them. The number one piece of advice in response to this is that you should never pay the scammers. You can read more about it here.

There are also a number other common scams that you can familiarise yourself with here. The more you know about what’s out there, the better equipped you will be to spot it if someone is trying to scam you.

Contact Safer Community

Please note: Safer Community is not an emergency or critical response service, and reports, emails and voicemails are not reviewed outside of operating hours.