When used safely, the internet can be a lot of fun. It allows us to connect with our friends and family, share ideas and stay informed. But there are some risks and dangers too, which we should all be aware of. One of these risks is cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that uses technology, such as apps & the internet, to target another person. It can happen anytime, anywhere and on any platform, from social media sites and email to messaging apps, chat rooms, and even computer games.
Cyberbullying involves harassing, threatening or humiliating a person. It might start directly online, or it might be a continuation of ofﬂine bullying such as at school.
There are many different types of cyberbullying. Some examples include:
always think if it can hurt someone’s feelings and how would you feel if that message or post came to you.
On social media, cyberbullying can be difﬁcult to stop as posts can spread quickly – by the time one is removed, there could be ﬁve more – and because social media is something we can access all the time it can feel too much.
Before posting anything in social media:
Someone who is being cyberbullied might start to think badly of themselves, or feel sad, lonely or nervous. They might lose conﬁdence or have problems at school or with friends. It’s important to know that what you are experiencing is not your fault and there is support out there for you.
There are a number of ways you can prevent and stop cyberbullying.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to talk to your parents, teachers or a trusted adult. They can offer you support, advice and help you to report what’s happening to the relevant websites or social media platforms. Talking to others about how you’re feeling can also help you feel less alone.
You can also contact independent support services, such as Childline which is available online at childline.org.uk, or via phone on 0800 1111 if you are under 19 years of age.
Adjust your privacy settings
You can adjust your privacy settings to stop unwanted messages coming through, or so that only people you know and trust can see what you post. If you’re struggling to do so, ask a parent or teacher to help.
It can be difﬁcult but try not to respond by sending the cyberbully similar posts or spreading rumours about them, it will only make you fall into a horrible trap of becoming a cyberbully yourself. Instead, make sure you’re spending time ofﬂine with the people you care about.
There are people on social media who are not who they say they are. To help identify fake profiles, watch out for these signs:
For example through hidden info on your photos:
Try the following advice for cyberbullying and to stay safe online: