4 Rs of Online Safety

The 4 Rs of online safety were developed by the eSafety Commissioner, Julie Iman Grant These core principles support young people to develop empathy and make 'smart' decisions in the online world.


I treat myself and others the way I like to be treated.

Follow the Golden Rule to “treat others how you would like to be treated” might seem overly simplistic, we need to be reinforcing this mantra across all lines of communication—online and offline—and it should underpin our every interaction. Not only should young people treat others with respect, they need to respect themselves and know and understand that their digital footprint should always be a positive and realistic reflection of themselves


I get back up from tough situations and help others get back up too.

unfortunately, young people are bound to witness or experience nasty comments and may come across confronting or inappropriate content online. Blocking or limiting their access is not going to build the strength and resolve they need to withstand this potential online onslaught.  In the analogue age, we weren’t coddled quite so much as our parents knew that the online way we could cope in the real world was to fall down, brush ourselves off, learn from our mistakes and move on.. We need to provide kids with solution-focused coping strategies to ensure they can bounce back from tough situations—online and offline.  


I am accountable for my actions and I take a stand when I feel something is wrong

this should be taught from the first swipe of the iPad! We need to constantly remind young people that they are the most tech savvy generation to date and they have a responsibility to shape the online world positively for generations to come. Let them know they can be the difference between a positive or negative online experience. Instil them with confidence to be vigilant both online and offline and inspire them to take a stand and be the right kind of digital influencer. 


I question information I am told and find evidence before believing what I read.

it can often be difficult for young people to step back and process whether information they see online is credible or true. Whether it’s an out of character Snap, shady advertising on Instagram, or an outlandish tweet trending on Twitter, it’s crucial that young people stop and question. As AI and machine learning technologies continue to advance, it will only become more difficult for young people – not to mention, adults – to discern what is real and what is not. This is why it’s imperative to cultivate these critical reasoning skills now, so they’re able to call out the bad stuff (and shout out the good stuff!). 

Reproduced from eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant 

Additional Resources: Young and eSafe