Online Safety And Security: Do You Have The Tools To Cope?

Human beings are inherently social creatures. We crave communication with others and have done so from the dawn of our species. For many years our methods of communication were much slower and not nearly as widespread as they are today. We had time to think about what we said or wrote and had little use for the online safety & security that has become a critical consideration in our modern tech-driven digital world.

Online Safety And Security: Do You Have The Tools To Cope?

As Users, What Is Our Contribution To Online Safety And Security?

The first area we should talk about is our responsibility towards others with regard to our posts, shares, comments, and contributions to discussions online. It begins, as many things do, with consciousness about the effects our communication has on the online safety and security of people we interact with.

  • Say hello to kindness and show compassion with all posts and comments
  • Be courteous and respectful with everything you post
  • Absolutely avoid any hate speech, bullying and derogatory comments
  • Do not use this amazing communication platform to spam others or spread misleading information
  • Unless you are qualified to do so, do not give out medical or mental health advice
  • Respect the privacy of others and make sure that when you share something the originator of the information is comfortable with this.

Safe Searching Is About Finding Good, Useful Information And Eliminating Harmful Content

As incredible as the Internet is for rapidly accessing information about anything, this can also be its downfall. Parents are caught in the dilemma of wanting their children to learn as much about the online world as they can but are fearful about the darker stuff they may find. As the guardians of our children’s online safety and security, we can start the conversation with them and have an honest, open discussion about internet safety and safe searching.

Of course, young people’s curiosity may mean that advice from their parents may not be enough to keep them safe. Luckily technology has some solutions and we are seeing more and more tools that can restrict what your child can access online.

Also coming to the fore are initiatives like the one spearheaded by our own Jacinda Ardern, seeking to hold big tech companies responsible for the nature of the content which is spread via their platforms.

External Factors – Online safety and security  – You Can Still Be In Control

The very nature of the online space lends itself to a large degree of anonymity and opportunity for deception. It is important for young people not to blindly accept everything they see online as truth.

  • Make sure the persons you communicate with are who they present themselves to be
  • Practice a degree of scepticism and do not spread any information that you have not verified
  • Do not accept friend requests from random strangers just to have a huge friends list – quality over quantity is best
  • Never give out private information to anyone that you do not know personally
  • If you are in any doubt as to the intentions of anyone block them from your social media accounts. It is almost impossible to bully someone when you have no way to communicate with them
digital coping strategies

With a bit of thoughtfulness and sensibility, you can make your online experience an enjoyable and safe one. Cathy Mellett founded I’m enough to promote safety online, digital resilience, and offer digital coping strategies to young people and those who care for them. We want you to know that you’re so enough you don’t know how enough you are.

You’re enough and you are loved just as you are. If you can make this your truth then you will have achieved true resilience to cope with everything the digital world can throw your way.

Emergency and help lines


Anxiety phone line – 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)

Mental Health Crisis Helpline

Mental Health Crisis Helpline - 0800 800 717


Depression and anxiety affects us all differently.
Free 24/7 Helpline: 0800 111 757 Text 4202

Website Address

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland


Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email or online chat


Whatever you're going through, call us any time on 0800 726 666.

Website Address
Suicide Crisis Helpline

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds).
Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.


Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.

Sexuality or gender identity helpline
Description – Phone: 0800 111 757 or email or free text 5626

Website Address
Supporting Families in Mental Illness

Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825.

Mental health services – Ministry of Health

We all face challenges to our mental health at various times in our lives. The way we’re feeling can change how we think and how we deal with tough times.

There’s a range of resources and services available to help including phone and online services and information, as well as face-to-face support.

Most services are free and provide information and confidential advice from trained professionals. There's also information for family, whānau, or friends if they need advice and support.

If you’re told that there is a waiting time for a service, please still reach out and make contact. Other supports can be put in place – ask what you can try in the meantime.


Helplines for children and young people

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to talk to a trained counsellor.

To talk to a trained counsellor 24/7 call the Depression helpline – 0800 111 757.

To get help from a registered nurse 24/7 call Healthline – 0800 611 116.

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email or online chat.

What's Up  – 0800 942 8787, (for 5–18-year-olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, 1 pm–10 pm and on weekends, 3 pm–10 pm. Online chat is available from 7 pm–10 pm daily.

Website Address