Here are details of a number of different agencies or groups that provide help, support and assistance in the area of cyber safety:
The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) is a secure online reporting and referral service for cybercrime and online incidents which may be in breach of Australian law. The ACORN will make it easier for the public to report cybercrime, get the information they need to protect themselves online and ensure agencies can respond more quickly. The ACORN will also provide a clearer picture of the cybercrime affecting Australians.
The ACORN is a national policing initiative of the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments. You can report the most common types of cybercrime to the ACORN.
If you or your child has seen material online depicting sexual conduct involving children or you suspect an adult has engaged in any inappropriate activity involving a child, there are well-established processes in place for the reporting and investigation of online offences against children. Given the seriousness of these offences and the need to act immediately, the ACORN does not accept reports on online offences against children.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority accepts reports of offensive and illegal online content including child sexual abuse material.
If you suspect an adult has engaged in inappropriate activity involving a child, call the police immediately on Triple Zero 000 (if it is an emergency) or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Children can be particularly vulnerable online. They may become victims of cyber-bullying, targets of online grooming or be exposed to inappropriate online content which involves concepts they are not developmentally ready to manage.
Children often do not tell their parents about online incidents, in fear that it will make the situation worse. This may be damaging to a young person’s health and wellbeing, particularly if they have already experienced mental illness or trauma.
If you know or suspect that your child has been a victim of cyber-bullying or any other type of cybercrime, it is important that he or she feels comfortable to speak about the incident with you, a teacher or another trusted adult.
Your child may also benefit from contacting Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25. It is available 24 hours a day to help with all sorts of problems, big and small.
Cybersmart Online Helpline Service is a national cybersafety and cybersecurity education program managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), as part of the Australian Government’s commitment to cybersafety. The program is specifically designed to meet the needs of its target audiences of children, young people, parents, teachers and library staff.
Stay Smart Online is the Australian Government’s online safety and security website, designed to help everyone understand the risks and the simple steps we can take to protect our personal and financial information online. The website provides support so we are better equipped to protect ourselves online. The website is hosted by the Department of Communications.
Social Media & Cyberbullying
If you are being bullied or harassed or have seen abusive or inappropriate content on social media, you can report this to the relevant social media provider. The process for doing this is slightly different for each site:
Facebook – You can report abusive content on Facebook by using the Report link that appears near the content itself. Facebook’s How to Report Things page has instructions on how to report abusive content for the different features.
Twitter – You can file a report that someone is posting abusive messages by going to Twitter’s forms page. More information on Twitter’s policy on abusive behaviour is available at the How to Report Abusive Behaviour page.
LinkedIn – You can report inappropriate content that violates LinkedIn’s Community Guidelines or User Agreement by flagging it directly from the site. Your identity will not be shared if you flag an item. You can also report spam, phishing and other suspicious messages. After reviewing reported items, LinkedIn will take them down if necessary.
YouTube – You can report content that violates YouTube’s Community Guidelines by flagging it. Flagging videos does not take them down straight away, but sends a report back to YouTube staff to review the flagged video. More information on flagging videos is available at YouTube’s Community Guidelines Violations page. To report a case of harassment, privacy or bullying, you can visit YouTube’s Help and Safety Tool page.
Instagram – You can report inappropriate photos, comments, or users that are in violation of Instagram’s Community Guidelines or directly to Instagram with the built-in flagging feature.