Smartphones and the internet provide great ways to express yourself and communicate with others. However, there are important things to be aware of to ensure you stay safe online and support a respectful and inclusive community.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 9am and after 5pm). 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:
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.
A confidential, free and secure space to chat to qualified youth mental health professionals.
- Visit www.eheadspace.org.au