When we think of safety at UTS, we tend to think of it in the framework of being vigilant on campus. But, with the extended lockdown pushing us further into a digital space, opportunities for cyber bullying and image abuse increase substantially for academics, students and professional staff who are working and studying remotely.

Cyber and image-based abuse is an growing issue in Australia, with statistics from the eSafety Commissioner indicating that:  

  • 1 in 10 Australians have experienced image-based abuse
  • Women aged 18 and over (15%) are twice as likely as men aged 18 and over to have experienced image based abuse (7%). The largest difference in prevalence between women and men can be seen amongst young adults aged 18-24, with 24% of women and 16% of men aged 18-24 having experienced image-based abuse. 

The eSafety Commissioner promotes online safety education for young people, educators and parents via a series of programs including university specific resources and toolkits for non-academic and academic staff. It also offers a complaint mechanism for young people experiencing serious cyberbullying, or for Australians to report illegal or offensive content.

To help universities better understand the issue of cyber abuse, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner is running a free lunchtime webinar on Tuesday 21st September for UTS staff (not suitable for those under the age of 18).

The upcoming webinar will cover online safety risks and best practice responses to incidents in a university context. Designed to help university communities be safer online, the training aims to:

  • Build greater awareness of online safety risks
  • Provide strategies to assist those impacted by adult cyber abuse, image-based abuse and technology-facilitated abuse
  • Provide guidance on how to prevent, prepare and respond to online safety incidents using the Toolkit for Universities developed in collaboration with Universities Australia
  • Direct students and staff to online safety resources to support their wellbeing
  • Examine case studies from eSafety’s investigation teams 

See you there, and stay safe online!

Feature image by CottonBro from Pexels

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