Cyberbullying

You can help prevent it

What Is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying through the use of technology such as cell phones, computers, tablets, social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.

Examples of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can include mean text messages or emails, rumors spread through messaging or on social media, or embarrassing photos, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

Three Differences Between Cyberbullying and Bullying

Cyberbullying can be anonymous and distributes quickly to a large audience. Cyberbullying can happen any time, even when the kid is alone. Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is difficult once they've been posted or sent. Bullying has none of these difficulties.

Effects of Cyberbullying

Kids who are cyberbullied may use alcohol and/or drugs, skip school, receive poor grades, have lower self-esteem, and have more health problems. Some may even go as far as self harm, or even suicide.

Prevention and Awareness

You should always know what sites your kids are visiting, and ask them where their going, what they're doing, and who their doing it with. Tell you child that, as a responsible adult, you may review their online activities if necessary. Ask them for their passwords, and make it known that you'll only use them if there's an emergency. Ask a friend or another trusted adult to follow your child and monitor their behavior. Encourage you kids to tell an adult if them or someone they know is being cyberbuillied, and explain that you wont take away their device if they do.

Establishing Rules

Be clear about what sites your child can visit, and what they can do online. Help them be smart about they post or say, and encourage them to avoid posting embarrassing or hurtful content about themselves or others. Tell them to keep their passwords safe, and to not even share with friends.

Reporting a Cyberbully

Don't respond to or forward cyberbully messages. Keep the evidence of cyberbullying. Record dates and times, save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this to report cyberbullies to web and cell phone service provides. Block the person who is cyberbullying you.

Report to Your Online Service Provider

Review their terms and conditions. These will explain what content is allowed and what isn't. Visit social media safety centers to learn how to block users and control who can contact you.

Report to Your Local Law Enforcement

You should go to the police when cyberbullying includes threats of violence, child pornography or sexually explicit messages or photos, or stalking and hate crimes.

Report to Your School

Your school can help to inform prevention and response strategies. Some schools may also include cyberbullying in their anti-bullying polices, or cover off-campus behavior that includes a hostile school environment.