In an emergency, call the police

If you feel you’re your safety is in danger, call the police for free by calling 000 on your mobile or on any Swinburne phone.

Staying safe online

The online world opens doors to explore a broad range of information, experiences and ideas.  It can be a positive and inclusive place and at the same time can create negative experiences: ranging from mild criticism or feedback to something more sinister.

Supporting an inclusive environment

As a Swinburne student it is important to ensure that your interactions with your peers and staff remain respectful, in accordance with the Swinburne Student Charter and IT acceptable use guidelines.

Here are some tips to help you communicate effectively online:

  • Treat other people with respect, just as you would offline.
  • Take your privacy seriously. Choose a strong password and don’t share something you don’t want shared more widely and permanently: the online world is much bigger than your chat group.
  • Don’t post in anger. Pause and reflect on your words before hitting send.
  • Keep it clear and concise.
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was a bad day. Maybe this platform is new to them.
  • Make your contributions positive and consider the best channel for giving feedback or sharing information that is more personal.
  • Be an active bystander. Call out inappropriate behaviour if you feel safe to do so, or check in with the person impacted via direct message (DM) to see if they’re okay.
     

Inappropriate online behaviour and cyber harassment

If the behaviour makes you uncomfortable or you witness someone experiencing cyber harassment or any other unreasonable behaviour, there are steps you can take.  Safer Community is here to support you and to help maintain our safe and respectful community online.

Image-based abuse

Sexting is the sending of provocative or sexual photos, messages or videos. They are generally sent using a mobile phone but can also include posting the offensive material online. 

Sending intimate photos to someone without their consent can be considered harassment. 

Possessing intimate images of someone under 18 years old, when you are over 18 years old, can be considered child pornography, even if they were sent and received consensually. 

What you can do about image-based abuse 

  • If you regret sending an image of yourself to a friend or partner, ask them to delete it immediately. 
  • If someone posts a naked photo or video of you online, report it to the eSafety Commissioner
  • Report the behaviour to Safer Community who can offer further advice and support. 
  • Un-tag yourself in images and/or videos posted online and report them to the social media site. 
  • Get support from a trusted friend, family member and/or an expert counselling support service.

Cyberbullying 

Cyberbullying is bullying that’s done by means of technology – for example, using the internet or a mobile phone to hurt, harass or embarrass someone. It’s illegal to bully or harass someone online. 

What you can do about cyberbullying 

  • Send a single message asking the bully to remove the offensive content. Then block them on the social media site. 
  • Keep any evidence, e.g. screenshots of messages, photos or online conversations. 
  • Report offensive content on social media to the social media site. 
  • Report the issue to Safer Community for advice and support. 
Download the cybersafety fact sheet

Sextortion

Sextortion is a form of blackmail where a perpetrator threatens to reveal intimate images or videos of you online unless you give in to their demands. These demands are typically for money, further intimate images or sexual favours.

Sharing or threatening to share intimate photos or videos of someone, without their permission, is illegal in Victoria.

What you can do about sextortion

  • If you’re concerned about your physical safety, call the police on 000.
  • Report sextortion to the eSafety Commissioner. They will work with you to get the right outcomes.
  • Report the behaviour to Safer Community who can offer further advice and support.
  • Don’t give the perpetrator any money or additional images. Stop all contact with them.
  • Change your passwords for all social media and online accounts and review your privacy and security settings.
  • Get support from a trusted friend, family member and/or an expert counselling support service.

Scams

Scammers try to steal your money or personal information. Scams are often done by phone, SMS or email. They often look and sound very real.

You may receive an offer that seems too good to refuse or a request to donate to a cause. You might receive a friend request from a physically attractive person that you don’t know.

Scammer activities are sophisticated and designed to make you respond. Don’t.

What you can do about scams

  • If you suspect something is a scam, you can do an online search of the exact words used to see if it has been identified by others.
  • Delete suspicious emails, texts or social media messages.
  • Use the ’Report Phishing’ function within your Swinburne student email account to report suspicious emails.
  • If someone offers a prize or gift, do some research and ask for advice.
  • Keep your phone’s software and computer’s anti-virus software up-to-date.
  • Never send money to someone you don’t know or trust.
  • Keep your passwords secret. Any legitimate communication will never ask for your password.
  • If asked for personal information, confirm the contact’s legitimacy by sourcing numbers from their website or a web search, then call them back on that –not what was given to you verbally or in an email.
  • Think clearly. Scammers can be emotionally manipulative or use a sense of urgency.
  • Report scams to SCAMwatch.
  • When in doubt, call the IT ServiceDesk on +61 3 9214 5000 before you act.

Support services

At Swinburne, we are committed to keeping our community of students, staff and on-campus visitors safe. If you feel unsafe on campus call Swinburne security on +61 3 9214 3333. Services available on campus include:

Student Counselling

Our private and confidential counselling service is available to help you through your situation. Register and make an appointment to see a counsellor. Or call the counselling team on +61 3 9214 8483.

Crisis line

The Swinburne crisis line is available to help you 24 hours a day on weekends and public holidays, and outside business hours on weekdays (before 9.00am and after 5.00pm). Call 1300 854 144 or text +61 4 8888 4145.

Outside of Swinburne, there are 24/7 support services available for people experiencing family violence to get help. If your life is in immediate danger, call the police on 000. Other services include:

Lifeline

24/7 phone crisis support.

Australian Human Right Commission

Investigates and resolves complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying based on a person’s gender, disability, race, age and sexuality.

eheadspace

A confidential, free and secure space to chat to qualified youth mental health professionals.

eSafety

Advice, strategies and support for cyberbullying, as well as online reporting. 

Your privacy and confidentiality

  • All information, including your contact details will be kept confidential.
  • In exceptional circumstances, confidentiality may be broken. This may occur in situations where Safer Community staff believe you to be a direct danger to yourself or others.
  • You may report anonymously, but you will not receive any update on your report. It’s important to note that it is difficult to verify or investigate anonymous reports as gathering all the information that may be required is challenging.
  • Safer Community values your privacy.

Please refer to the IT acceptable use guidelines for further information on use of technology at Swinburne.

Report cyber harassment

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing cyber harassment, Safer Community wants to know. Report an incident online or email safercommunity@swinburne.edu.au.

Report online