What Is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Examples of Cyberbullying
Being a victim of cyberbullying can be a common and painful experience. Some youth who cyberbully:
- Pretend they are other people online to trick others
- Spread lies and rumors about victims
- Trick people into revealing personal information
- Send or forward mean text messages
- Post pictures of victims without their consent
What To Do if You’re the Vicitm of Cyber Bullying…
Contrary to what cyberbullies may believe, cyberbullying is a big deal, and can cause a variety of reactions in teens. Some teens have reacted in positive ways to try to prevent cyberbullying by:
- Blocking communication with the cyberbully
- Deleting messages without reading them
- Talking to a friend about the bullying
- Reporting the problem to an Internet service provider or website moderator
Many youth experience a variety of emotions when they are cyberbullied. Youth who are cyberbullied report feeling angry, hurt, embarrassed, or scared. These emotions can cause victims to react in ways such as
- Seeking revenge on the bully
- Avoiding friends and activities
- Cyberbullying back
Some teens feel threatened because they may not know who is cyberbullying them. Although cyberbullies may think they are anonymous, they can be found. If you are cyberbullied or harassed and need help, save all communication with the cyberbully and talk to a parent, teacher, law enforcement officer, or other adult you trust.
How to Prevent Cyberbullying
Teens have figured out ways to prevent cyberbullying. Follow in the footsteps of other quick-thinking teens and:
- Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages
- Tell friends to stop cyberbullying
- Block communication with cyberbullies
- Report cyberbullying to a trusted adult
- Remember to log out of online accounts
You can also help prevent cyberbullying by:
- Speaking with other students, as well as teachers and school administrators, to develop rules against cyberbullying
- Raising awareness of the cyberbullying problem in your community by holding an assembly and creating fliers to give to younger kids or parents
- Sharing NCPC’s anti-cyberbullying message with friends
Don’t forget that even though you can’t see a cyberbully or the bully’s victim, cyberbullying causes real problems. If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online.
END cyberbullying: Don’t write it. Don’t forward it.
What Else Can I Do To Stay Cyber-safe?
Remember that the Internet is accessed by millions of people all over the world, not just your friends and family. While many Internet users are friendly, some may want to hurt you. Below are some ways to stay cyber-safe:
- Never post or share your personal information online (this includes your full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents’ names, credit card number, or Social Security number) or your friends’ personal information.
- Never share your Internet passwords with anyone, except your parents.
- Never meet anyone face-to-face whom you only know online.
- Talk to your parents about what you do online.
- Keep your photos PG. Remember anyone could end up seeing them.
Where To Get Help
- In cases of emergency always contact 911 and the local police
- The Victims of Crime Resource Center Hotline 1-800-VICTIMS (842-8467) can provide you with references and resources that can help
- If someone at school is being a bully contact
- School counselor
- School principal
- School superintendent
- State Department of Education
- If someone is feeling hopeless or depressed have them call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)