Release of the 2022 National Online Safety Survey
The 2022 National Online Safety Survey has highlighted the need for greater collaboration to boost awareness of the eSafety Commissioner, empowering Australian parents and children to have safer and more positive experiences online.
The survey, released by the Australian Government, reveals a lack of awareness of Australia’s eSafety Commissioner and its services, and the significant under-reporting of incidents online.
Unprompted, two per cent of parents surveyed identified the eSafety Commissioner as an organisation they’d turn to for help with online safety. This number increased when a list of support options, including the eSafety Commissioner, was provided.
Less than four per cent of parents and twelve per cent of children report harm they experienced online, such as abuse or being sent violent or sexual content, to the eSafety Commissioner.
While the survey found the majority of parents and carers have discussed online dangers and safe use of the internet, further information and awareness activities are still needed to inform parents of the support available through the eSafety Commissioner.
The report, prepared by the Social Research Centre and based on data collected in April and May 2022, also found:
- Almost 40 per cent of adults experienced online harm in the last 12 months, with the most common negative online experiences being exposure to unwanted or inappropriate sexual content and harassment.
- Almost 50 per cent of adults in diverse groups, such as the LGBTQIA+ and CALD communities, experienced online harm that seriously discriminated, abused or belittled them on the basis of their personal identity or beliefs.
- 45 per cent of children reported their main negative online experience was being called offensive names, and 14 per cent of children, aged 11 to 17, reported it was being threatened by someone who said they would send or post private photos or videos of them.
The Albanese Government is dedicated to improving the safety of Australians online. In the October Budget, we delivered on our election commitment to provide $6 million to make digital and media literacy tools, developed by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, freely available to all schools across Australia.
The October Budget also confirmed $5 million over five years to extend the National Online Safety Awareness Campaign and raise awareness across Australia of the new protections available for people who have experienced serious online abuse; an additional $16.6 million over four years for eSafety to establish a new technology-facilitated abuse helpline service; and $10 million for a new Online Safety Community Grants program.
These grants will provide funding to non-government and charitable organisations for online safety education and projects focussed on women and children. Grant guidelines are currently being developed by eSafety and will be available through the eSafety Commissioner’s website.
For further information about the 2022 National Online Safety Survey, please visit infrastructure.gov.au/media-technology-communications/internet/online-safety.
For advice on how to keep safe online, or to report online harm, visit esafety.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The results of 2022 National Online Safety Survey are deeply concerning.
“The Albanese Government has a strong record of supporting online safety for Australians, including from Opposition, and we will continue this important work – starting with delivery of our Budget commitments – guided by a strong evidence base and up-to-date research.
“I urge all Australian parents, carers and children to visit the eSafety Commissioner’s website to learn more about the support that is available.”
Quotes attributable to eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant:
“We want every Australian to know that they can come to eSafety for advice and help when things go wrong online. We help thousands of people every year who report online abuse and seriously harmful content to us, by getting content taken down quickly and providing compassionate advice and support.
“Over the past 7 years we have investigated almost 100,000 reports about child cyberbullying, illegal and restricted content including child sexual exploitation material, image-based abuse, and serious adult cyber abuse.
“eSafety’s reporting schemes and our wide range of educational resources and programs are world-leading. Last year, eSafety.gov.au recorded more than 5.7 million page views, and our education programs reached more than 1.2 million students, teachers, parents and carers through virtual classrooms, live webinars, professional learning and our Trusted eSafety Provider program.
“We are committed to continuing to work closely with governments, schools, police and the community to help increase awareness of eSafety’s services and resources to help all Australians have safer and more positive experiences online.”