Cybersafety Help

eSmart LibrariesHobsons Bay Libraries is an accredited eSmart Library.
The eSmart program has been developed by the Telstra Foundation, in partnership with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to inform and  educate library users of all ages about cybersafety.

Hobsons Bay City Council supports the development of a local community where people have opportunities to maximise their health and wellbeing.  One goal of is to create an inclusive, resilient and healthy community.  The eSmart Libraries project supports this goal by promoting online safety and providing access to cybersafety help and resources.

Staying safe online

Download our top tips

In the interests of helping you stay safe online, whether at the library, at home or out and about with a mobile device, we've compiled some of the experts' top tips on cyber safety.  If you're unsure about how best to protect your personal information or deal with undesirable online behaviour and content following these tips is a good place to start.

  • Always use a firewall and anti-virus software on your home computer or laptop.  Run regular scans and be sure to download updates as they are released.
  • Use strong passwords (including a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters and symbols if possible) and avoid using the same password for multiple services or websites.
  • If you use social networking sites (such as Facebook) familiarise yourself with the privacy settings.  You can adjust these settings to control the amount and type of information you want to share, so that people you don't know very well can only see certain parts of your profile.
  • Keep your mobile device (phone, tablet etc) with you at all times and locked with a PIN/passcode.
  • Only make online purchases from companies with secure payment pages - look for 'https' or an image of a padlock in the address bar.
  • Portable drives such as USB/flash drives are convenient but easy to lose - take extra care if yours has personal information (such as a resume) saved to it.
  • Do not share your passwords or PINs with anyone. Never provide your password in response to a phone call or email, regardless of how legitimate it might seem.
  • Before allowing children to use a mobile device or computer, familiarise yourself with the parental controls available. When used effectively parental controls can help to ensure that your children are only able to access age-appropriate materials. The cybersafety website ThinkUKnow provides guides on using the parental controls for a number of popular devices.
  • Only post online what you are happy to have made public - even if you make use of privacy features it is possible for the material you post to be shared beyond your circle of friends and family, and it can be difficult or impossible to remove posted photos or information after the event.
  • Public Wi-Fi (wireless) networks, including those found at the library, are a convenient way to browse the web but do not guarantee the privacy of your data and communications.  It is safest to use a trusted, encrypted network (such as your home broadband network) if using Wi-Fi for shopping, banking or sending personal information.


Cyberbullying happens when online technology is used to cause harm.  It can take a variety of forms including:

  • Abusive, hurtful, threatening or embarrassing emails, texts or comments
  • Circulating embarrassing or hurtful images or videos
  • Creating fake accounts or 'hacking' accounts in order to imitate others online
  • Participating in malicious or hurtful online gossip
  • Excluding others online
  • Sometimes cyberbullying occurs in public, such as on social media sites, but often it can be private and/or anonymous. Cyberbullying material can spread quickly and can have a serious impact on health and wellbeing. 

First phones: Safe setup

As children enter High School, or even earlier, they often get their very own smartphone or similar device for the first time.
For parents it can be reassuring to know that children can contact you wherever they are, and for kids their phone can be a passport to a wider social world, however parents may feel apprehensive about the risks associated with mobile devices such as excessive screen time and unwelcome or hurtful online interactions including cyberbullying.
Fortunately, most of these risks can be minimised by taking a few minutes to make sure your child’s device is safely set up before you let them loose on the internet.

Here’s a few easy steps you can take to make that new phone safer

Tips for dealing with cyberbullying include:
  • Blocking the bully - make use of the settings available in the service used by the bully to prevent further contact. This could mean blocking contact from their phone number or Facebook profile. Be sure to block the bully on each service they use to contact you, and adjust your privacy settings so they can no longer see your profile.
  • Save evidence of the bullying, either by taking a screenshot, printing emails or saving phone messages.
  • Don't retaliate.
  • Tell someone you trust (perhaps a parent, teacher or friend) as soon as possible. If you don't feel comfortable talking to people you know, you could call the Kids' Helpline on 1800 55 1800
  • Report the bullying. Children can report cyberbullying to their school, the provider of the social media service where the bullying occurred (most social media services provide a 'report' button) , and the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner

Useful links

Staying safe online

Stay Smart Online logoThe Australian Government's online safety and security website, designed to help everyone understand the risks and simple steps we can take to protect our personal and financial information online.

ACMA logo
The Australian Communications and Media Authority
Tips on protecting yourself from online scams.


telstra-logoTelstra Consumer Advice: Cyber Safety
Ideas for staying safe online and protecting your privacy, including information for individuals and families.



Parents, children and teens

ThinkUKnow - internet safety for young people aged 11 to 17 (also includes information for parents, teachers and carers).

Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner - report cyberbullying or offensive/illegal online content.

Kids Helpline - kid-friendly information about online safety, cyberbullying and more.

Headspace - support for young people and their families going through tough times, including bullying and other issues.

eSmart LibrariesAlannah and Madeline Foundation Telstra Foundation Cobranded