blog: keep calm and be cyber safe by gabby

How to Deal (during COVID): Keep Calm and Be Cyber Safe

By Gabby (headspace Adelaide Community Engagement Officer)

Gabby for website

Hello there! I’m Gabby (can be seen in a little photo above!) and I’m a part of the Community Engagement Team at headspace Adelaide.

Welcome to my second blog of a series I like to call How to Deal (during COVID). If you haven’t read the first one; make sure you go and do that after (shameless plug!) – it’s all about Finding the Light and positivity during this unusual time we are in.

So, this time during COVID-19 has meant a real shift in our thoughts around screen time, social media usage and computer use. We were often encouraged to limit our screen time and be out in our communities, building relationships and enjoying the physical company of others but now we are almost solely relying on that exact technology to communicate with our nearest and dearest.

It’s certainly a shift but I think we are adapting well to the virtual coffee dates or friend Pictionary nights. I had a notification pop up on my phone Sunday morning that told me my screen time was up 44.5% from last week, I gasped at this at first but then considered the extra Facetimes with friends and multiple games on my phone with my siblings. We’ll attribute it to COVID-19, and to be honest this might have made me feel guilty pre the virus I don’t want to keep naming, but now it’s almost a pat on the back for staying connected with all of my loved ones (that or I’m enjoying watching TikTok videos too much)!

Something we should all consider especially with all this heightened social media and computer use is how we are being cyber safe. I don’t know about you but I’d prefer to not have others join my zoom meeting or hack my social media accounts which is why there are a few tips and tricks of how to be internet safe and make sure you are sharing only what you want to be sharing!

Helpful Cyber Safety Tips & Tricks:

  • Think about your privacy – avoid sharing personal information online that could be misused by someone in real life. Check your privacy settings, don’t share your password and make sure your account is secure.
  • Think before you upload and share photos or videos – post photos or videos that show you and your friends in a positive way. Once it’s uploaded, it’s no longer private and could be viewed by friends, family, teachers and strangers.
  • Think carefully about sharing links to other sites – the content could be embarrassing, upsetting or hurtful to others.
  • Be careful of requests – only accept ‘friend’ requests from people you know in real life. This reduces the chance of getting into an unsafe situation.
  • Block anyone you’ve had contact with that was negative or unsafe – this stops them from having contact with you and from seeing your profile.
  • Be mindful of what you write to others – you never know who will read these comments and how they might interpret them.
  • Block anyone you’ve had contact with that was negative or unsafe – this stops them from having contact with you and from seeing your profile.

    (Kids Helpline 2020)

Our friends at the Carly Ryan have put together some awesome safety factsheets on all sorts of apps, check them out here.

Whether that’s university tutorials, workplace team meetings, video call with games catch ups with friends or weekly facetimes with your family over Messenger, it’s all virtual! We are being encouraged, now more than ever, to stay connected with our community but that is having to be done online.

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So, make sure you keep calm and be cyber safe!!!

I’m going to be adding to this blog series How to Deal (during COVID) regularly, with different topics and tips on how to get yourself and the ones you love through this not so normal time.

So as always; stay tuned….

When should I get help?

If you ever feel unable to cope because of overwhelming or intense emotions, or if you have any thoughts of harming yourself, then ask for help immediately.

National 24/7 crisis services

Lifeline: 13 11 14 or

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 or

beyondblue: 1300 224 636 or

Additional youth support services 

headspace: visit to find your nearest centre or call headspace on 1800 650 890

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 or


SANE Australia: 1800 187 263 or