Preventing online safety incidents

Keeping up to date with current trends and concerns helps prevent online safety incidents. CERT NZ publishes regular alerts on their website to help you understand what action to take in the case of a cyber security incident. You can also follow them on social media for the most up-to-date information.

Advice for avoiding spam and scams

The Digital Messaging Team at Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs(external link) have created a useful guide on how to avoid spam and scams:

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Managing a cyber security incident

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has an online security hub for school and kura IT leaders. It includes steps you can take to make your school or kura more secure and what to do in the case of a cyber security incident.

Responding to online safety incidents

If you are made aware of an online safety situation involving ākonga, you may need to intervene (e.g. nude images being shared, or pornography being viewed on a school laptop). The Ministry of Education has a helpful guide which includes real-world scenarios and explores how schools and kura can respond.

Netsafe have developed a guide which can be used when planning for, dealing with, or reviewing online safety incidents, including the sharing of intimate content, child sexual exploitation material and online grooming.

For more information about reporting online harms related to spam or scams visit our ‘Report online harms’ page.

Support for vulnerable communities

Students involved with online incidents at school may have experienced harm or they may be exhibiting harmful behaviours to themselves or others. Follow-up support is important to prevent further harms or online incidents occurring.

Some groups are more vulnerable than others, for example, rainbow youth or youth with neurodevelopmental disorders. There are a range of organisations you can reach out to for additional help and support:

  • OutLine(external link) is a Rainbow mental health organisation providing all-ages support services across Aotearoa. Free call 0800 688 5463 between 6pm-9pm for support, or contact details for organisations supporting rainbow young people.
  • BeThere(external link) provides information and resources for rainbow young people and their families, including rainbow support groups.
  • Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura(external link) provides resources for rainbow people of all ages focused on healthy relationships, consent and seeking help.
  • Kids and Gender Toolbox(external link) is a resource for families to support their Rainbow children and young people. Research shows that safe and welcoming families reduce negative outcomes associated with isolation, including online harm.