Primary: It's private

Digital media is so easy to copy, edit and share that we sometimes forget that it isn’t always 'ours'.

What’s the issue?

Digital media is so easy to copy, edit and share that we sometimes forget that it isn’t always ‘ours’. We need to respect other people’s ownership and privacy in all media.

Why does it matter?

There are privacy laws in Australia which control what you can, and can’t, send, say or share through the mail, telephones, e-mail and other forms of communication. They also protect what information about you can be collected and kept. When you pass on private images and other information without other people’s permission you may be breaking these laws.

Identity fraud is when people access your personal information without your permission, possibly to steal from you or otherwise act as if they are you. In the digital world it is easier to do this than offline so protecting this information is important.

When someone shares a picture, or other digital media such as a text, with you it is a one-to-one interaction. Just because they shared it with you, it does not mean that they want it passed on to other people. We can’t always know what other people’s opinions and feelings are, so we can’t make decisions about their attitudes to specific private material on their behalf—ask!


'Private' means it’s not for everyone

Only you have the right to share your personal information. Be aware that the more you share it the less private it is. Passwords are supposed to keep access to your data and online identity safe, they should not be shared even with trusted friends.

My friends might not be your friends

Just because someone shares something with you it does not give you permission to pass it on or show it to others.

Rules and guidelines about privacy are there to protect you and your identity

Thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ is not taking responsibility for your activities online or offline. Be aware of what you can do to protect your personal information, online identity and the access to digital material you create. If you are not sure what to do, ask a trusted adult.

Printable advice sheet

To download a copy of this advice sheet, see: