Online safety checklist

An online safety checklist provides important steps for you to protect your child from offensive, unsafe or unpleasant content and unwanted online contacts.


Stay involved and keep communicating

What you can do:
  • Share online time with them by talking about favourite apps, games or websites.
  • Ask about their online experiences, whom they are talking to and whether they are having any issues.
  • Reassure your child they can always come to you, no matter what. Let them know you will not cut off internet access if they report feeling uncomfortable or unsafe when online ― that could stop your child from communicating with you openly.

Create boundaries and rules for devices and online access

What you can do:
  • Make sure there are consequences for breaking them.
  • Consider a Family Tech Agreement, a set of rules about how devices, like smartphones, tablets, computers, TVs and gaming consoles are used in your home. It is written down and agreed to by all family members.


Online bullying is common, but children may be reluctant to tell you out of fear it will make things worse.

Pay attention changes in behaviour

What you can do:

  • Look out for the signs, such as withdrawn behavior or emotional upset after online use.
  • If you notice a change in behaviour or mood, talk to your child about it. If you are concerned, consider seeking professional help ― from your GP, a psychologist or school counsellor.

Report bullying to the eSafety Commissioner

What you can do:

  • Remember that you can report bullying to eSafety Commissioner if your child is under 18.
  • Let your child know they can report it if they are a minor.
  • eSafety can take action to get serious cyberbullying material removed, and provide advice, support and assistance.


Small children may be alarmed by the accidental discovery of pornography online, while older kids may seek it out but still have their views on relationships affected in a negative way.

Use parental controls such a content filters

  • Remember, there is a role here for parental controls over devices, such as enabling the safe search mode on internet browsers or wifi controls.

Discuss what your child may have seen

  • Consider discussing pornography in an age-appropriate way with your children.
  • Establish a few ground rules about what is acceptable or unacceptable.

Unwanted contact

Unwanted contact and sexual grooming are serious problems that parents and carers should use specific techniques to mitigate.

Protect your child's privacy and anonymity

What you can do:

  • make the social media accounts of your children private
  • delete or edit contacts whom your child does not know personally
  • teach your child how to block unwanted people contacting them.
  • Encourage them to use only a first name or nickname to identify themselves in online chat and on social media, and never to disclose their phone number, birthday, address or school.
  • Explain that they should not send photographs of themselves that clearly show their identity.
  • For younger children, ask them not to post or text images or videos without your permission.

Be aware of your child's online interactions

What you can do:
  • Keep communication open so your child knows to come to you when someone is asking them to do something that does not feel right.
  • They especially need to feel comfortable about telling you if they have done something they regret and someone is pressuring them as a result.

Helpful resources

  • Big Issues - Help your child deal with common online safety issues.
  • eSafety Guide - Learn about the latest games, apps, social media and how to protect your information and report inappropriate content.
  • Digital Citizenship- The department's articles and tools for parents and carers to support the practice of good and safe online behaviours by students.


  • Teaching and learning


  • Back to school
  • High school
  • Internet safety
  • Primary school
  • Safety
  • Wellbeing
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