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Review of existing Australian and international cyber-safety research

This report provides a detailed overview of Australian and international literature on cyber-safety risks based on national/international empirical and theoretical research evidence, as well as the outcomes of current practice and programs that address cyber safety and children. Additionally, the review aimed to determine how to best use the findings of previous cyber safety research to inform policy regarding the nature and prevalence, cyber safety risks and consequences, as well as promising preventative, regulatory and management measures to increase cyber safety for children when online.

The specific outcomes of this study were to identify:

  • The nature, prevalence and implications of cyber safety risks to Australian children;
  • What is known about quantification of the cyber safety risks and the consequences for children;
  • Technical and behavioural measures deployed by children, teachers, parents and others to mitigate cyber safety risks;
  • The effectiveness of current technical and behavioural measures as perceived by children, parents, teachers and others;
  • Additional measures that children, parents, teachers and the community and industry might take to reduce cyber safety risk and the potential effectiveness of these;
  • External factors which may contribute to the type and level of risk that a child encounters online; and
  • Any gaps in research, and in particular gaps in Australian data, relevant to the delivery of the information listed above.

Overall, this report provides a detailed overview of Australian and international literature on cyber-safety risks. In general, there are several risks associated with using technology and exposure to these risks, and when not properly addressed, are associated with negative consequences. The literature suggests that some of the most troublesome online risks are strongly associated with offline risks, and that these two worlds do not exist independently, therefore it is crucial that offline behaviours also be considered.

This project was undertaken on behalf of, and commissioned by, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

The report can be found at the Government Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy’s Cybersafety research website.

Project Duration


Funding Body


For further information about this project please contact Professor Donna Cross at


Professor Donna Cross
Dr Lydia Hearn
Dr Julian Dooley
CyberSafeKids, Ms Robyn Trevaud
Mr Garry Putland

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