The world has been changed forever due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and everyone has found themselves in new territory. We've had to self-isolate, social distance, and there's just so many new rules and regulations to follow.
Staying connected with loved ones, school, work, and the outside world is essential, especially being isolated, and now with a lot of people spending more and more time online, it adds more pressure than ever. Using the Internet is a great way to stay connected and socialise, work and learn, but there is also plenty of risks.
What's the best way to stay safe online during COVID-19? Read below how to maintain your safety online and how to protect your well-being during such an unknown time.
Stay connected with your friends. It's important to keep in touch with your friends even if it's only online due to restrictions. When people are socially isolated, this can have a significant impact on their mental health. It can lead to people feeling depressed, anxious and sad. You can organise catch-ups online through various social media platforms, video calling or even different apps.
Organise to learn a new hobby or skill. There are many different ways to learn a new hobby through YouTube, online classes or websites. COVID-19 has given many people more time, so it's a great time to start and keep yourself busy.
If you're having a hard time, you can reach out to support services to get some help. There are lots of different supports you can call, text or visit if restrictions allow. Click here to see what's available.
It's okay to take a break from social media and switch off. Being constantly available and connected can be challenging, so make sure you take regular breaks and enjoy activities and catch-ups offline as well.
Balance your time online. Suddenly having to do school or work from home requires many more hours in front of a device, so it's important to balance your time online. A good idea is to plan out your day, schedule routine breaks, and turn off your notifications for social media to help you stay focused. In addition, monitor your phone use and gaming time, and if it becomes an issue, organise to take part in an activity offline.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in one way or another and it's important for people to be respectful, resilient and kind to each other. Knowing your limits and having a range of strategies and supports can benefit both you and others around you.
eSafety Commissioner. (2020). How to manage your online well-being during COVID-19. https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/covid-19/how-manage-your-online-wellbeing
eSafety Commissioner. (2020). Back to school? 6 online safety tips for the new normal. https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/covid-19/advice-young-people