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Cyber Security Awareness Month: 3 things you need to know about the Office of the eSafety Commissioner

Ensuring online safety is an important concern for individuals, families, and businesses – that’s where eSafety comes in.

user icon David Hollingworth
Tue, 17 Oct 2023
Cyber Security Awareness Month: 3 things you need to know about the Office of the eSafety Commissioner
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To address these challenges, governments around the world have established various agencies and bodies dedicated to promoting online safety. In Australia, one such important institution is the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

Here are three key things you need to know about this vital organisation:

1. The eSafety Commissioner’s mission and role

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The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is an independent statutory office within the Australian government. It was established in 2015 as part of the Enhancing Online Safety Act. The primary mission of the eSafety Commissioner is to promote online safety and protect Australians, particularly children and young people, from online harm.

The eSafety Commissioner plays a pivotal role in achieving this mission through several key functions:

a. Providing a safe space: The eSafety Commissioner operates the eSafety website, which offers a safe and informative platform where individuals can report harmful online content, receive assistance, and find resources to enhance their digital literacy.

b. Addressing cyber bullying: The eSafety Commissioner actively tackles cyber bullying and online abuse issues by providing support and advice to victims and working to have harmful material removed from the internet.

c. Educating and raising awareness: The office conducts various educational initiatives and outreach programs to raise awareness about online safety. This includes working with schools, parents, and communities to ensure children and young people understand the potential dangers of the internet.

2. Empowering Australians with online safety information

One of the central pillars of the eSafety Commissioner’s work is providing information and resources that empower Australians to navigate the online world safely. This includes:

a. Online safety resources: The eSafety website offers a wealth of resources, from guides on protecting your online identity to tips for parents on managing their children’s online activities.

b. Safer internet awareness: The eSafety Commissioner actively supports Safer Internet Day, a global initiative aimed at promoting a safer and more responsible use of online technology.

c. Reporting mechanisms: The office provides a user-friendly platform where individuals can report harmful online content or experiences, helping them take action against cyber bullying, harassment, and other online threats.

3. The office’s regulatory powers

In addition to its educational and support functions, the eSafety Commissioner has regulatory powers to ensure that online platforms and services maintain a safe environment for their users. These powers include:

a. Investigative authority: The eSafety Commissioner can investigate and take action against individuals or entities responsible for hosting, sharing, or distributing harmful online content, such as cyber bullying, harassment, or non-consensual sharing of intimate images.

b. Content takedown notices: The office can issue content takedown notices to social media platforms and internet service providers, requiring them to remove or restrict access to harmful material.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner plays a crucial role in safeguarding Australians’ online experience. By providing information, support, and regulatory oversight, the eSafety Commissioner helps individuals and communities thrive online while protecting them from the potential pitfalls of the digital world.

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