Important things to remember when you go online:
Teachers please reference the DEECD Learning Online site for Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Policy

Imagine this:
  1. Work out what services or tools online that are vital and important to you and that you could not live without.
  2. Imagine if your accounts with these services or tools were suddenly made available to either a stranger or to people you were not friends with or fond of.
  3. Imagine if this person/people's could then access all your details, lock you out of your account and send, write and post stuff that looks like it is coming from you but is embarrassing, hurtful, degrading and untrue.
  4. Imagine that these comments and posts could stay online for a very long time, possibly even when you are looking for employment or meeting someone special.
  5. Imagine that it may take you weeks or even months to get the service or tool back under your control or shutdown.

Would you be happy?

You need to think and act responsibly online and take precautions when working and communicating online. If not you will most likely experience a situation as described above that will make you very unhappy, stressed and distracted. You need to make the choice about what happens online, the following are some simple steps to help:

Know what you do online

Check your privacy settings for all of your important online services as described above - know what can and is shared with others and set the limits on who can see what you post, say and do.
Know who your online friends are - the ones you have met physically in the real world are a known quantity. The people you have only ever met online are really strangers and should be treated with a level of caution and care. Do not share personal or private details with these people.
Ensure that you talk with your parents about what you do online, who your friends are and the sites you use.
Take the time to show mum and dad what you do online and if appropriate even get them to join and become involved - sometimes they need some assistance with this and are not sure how to ask or what to do. You take the lead.

Responsible Behaviour

    • What you say, do and post online can remain online for a very long time - don't post anything you do not want others to know or is hurtful to others.
    • Be respectful to others content - if you do not like something then articulate it but ensure that you provide some feedback. If you like something then say so and share it.
    • The more positive things you do and are said about you online the better your reputation will appear on the internet.
    • In the future and even today your reputation online is like your drivers licence or passport - if you muck it up it will stick with you and everyone will know. Online there is nowhere to hide.
    • Bullying online is not acceptable and those participating in it are genrally always caught
    • If you are bullied online or a friend is bullied online don't respond, let a responsible adult know. it may mean you need to stop using a service or create a new profile.

Signing up for an Email Adress:

    • Use an appropriate username for your email account - don't give away your real name, age, birth year or gender in your email account username.
    • Remember that you might use your email for many years so the more appropriate the username the better it will be in the long run.
    • If you like to enter competitions and online events you may want to set up a second email account so that you can still participate but avoid getting bombarded with spam and annoying emails.
    • If using a school email account remember that what you say and do reflects on your school and you by extension.
    • If you think someone has accessed your email, change your password immediately. If it is a school email notify someone at school. Failing to act quickly will reflect on you if anyone uses your email maliciously or inappropriately, online it will simply appear that you have committed these acts.


Identify sites and services online that are important to you - how would you feel if someone was able to get access to these accounts. You need to look after these sites and services right from the start with good passwords.

  • Ensure you have a smart password with any online services you sign up for that is important for you - your password should contain a minimum of 8 characters.
  • Have a different password for each important online services (i.e. email, Facebook, Dropbox etc)
  • Use passwords that include letters (abc), numbers (1234) and symbols (?!.@)
  • Avoid using sequential patterns (i.e. abcd1234) in your passwords
  • Change your important passwords at least once every 6 months.
  • Remember or store your passwords in a very secure place.

Links & Attachments

Sometimes we get links and attachments from friends, should we be worried:

  • If someone sends you a link via email, twitter or Facebook (and other social networking sites) that does not look, sound or feel right don't click on it. Send an email to that friend/contact and ask them if they did indeed sent the link to you?
  • Many links sent out to people that appear like an add or linking to something that is unusual are generally a result of either a virus or someone accessing someones account without their permission. A large majority of links are how people get access to you accounts without your knowledge.
  • Don't open everything you get sent or are pointed too without thinking about who it is from and what it might be about.
  • Make sure your internet browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari etc) is the latest possible for your computer/device.
  • Have at least 2 internet browsers installed on your computer just so you can check a site or link with a different browser option.
  • Make sure that your computer is updated with the latest software and has anti-virus and anti-malware protection.

General Tips

Some general tips when you go online:

  • When you are online make sure you think about what you post and say online.
  • Only post and say things that you would like others to say about you - if you have something negative, nasty or hurtful to say : Don't say it.
  • If you happen to communicate with a friend online make sure you have appropriate conversations.
  • If you communicate online with a stranger or an online friend you have never met do not give away any personal information away about yourself, your family or what you like and do.
  • If you ever feel uncomfortable online - either on a website or communicating with anyone stop what you are doing and let a responsible adult know about the experience.
  • If you ever come across any online bullying don't forward or respond to the activity - follow up with those responsible face-to-face in the firat instance.