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Data in this report about young people is drawn from the Office’s 2017 Youth Digital Participation Survey. This survey comprised a random sample of more than 3,000 young people in Australia aged 8–17 and collected information on their online safety experiences and behaviours in the 12 months to June 2017.

Data on the online experiences of adults was taken from a survey of 500 people aged 18 years and over, exploring their personal experiences in the 12 months to December 2017.

Desk research was also conducted to provide additional context for key survey findings. Readers should note that the desk research is not exhaustive, with citations included to provide additional examples.

This report highlights a number of key themes in relation to the online challenges facing young people age 8–17:

  • They are exposed to a wide range of issues online from unwanted contact to bullying and deal with these issues in a range of ways.
  • While negative experiences can be hurtful, young people also report positive outcomes from these experiences in terms of increased awareness of online risks and ways of dealing with issues when they arise.
  • Young people are not alone in having to deal with the unpleasant aspects of online participation with adults also experiencing similar challenges. This is a reflection of the importance of ongoing learning to build digital resilience and respect online.


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