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Cyberbullying is a form of bullying. Cyberbullying is when an individual or a group repeatedly uses Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to intentionally fear, distress, or harm to another person, who finds it hard to stop it from happening.

Cyberbullying – using, for example, a mobile phone and/or the Internet – is when a person:

  • sends nasty or threatening emails or messages on the Internet or via mobile phone
  • sends mean or nasty comments or pictures about others to websites
  • deliberately ignores or leaves others out over the Internet
  • pretends to be someone else online to hurt them or make them look foolish.

Cyberbullying can happen through text messages, pictures, video-clips or emails etc being sent directly to a person, but also when these things are sent to others or posted on the Internet, about that person.

 

Do different people bully online to those who bully offline?

Many young people who cyberbully also bully offline. So what we know is that people who decide to bully others will use different ways to get the power they want over another person.

We recommend checking out these helpful articles in the Beacon app:

  • Signs and symptoms of cyberbullying by The eSafety Office
  • Step up to bullying (video) by ReachOut Australia
  • Supporting your child if they're being cyberbullied by The eSafety Office
  • What is the MOST important thing all parents need to know about their children and cyberbullying? (video) by ySafe

Simply search these titles in the FOR YOU menu or type 'cyberbullying for a full list of helpful articles and videos.

Here are tips that we recommend if your child is being cyberbullied.

Make sure they don’t respond. Responding to the bullying brings attention to it and can cause it to become worse.

  1. Block the person who is bullying straight away within the platform or on the device.
  2. Check your child's privacy settings on the social networking site and ensure your child's profile is set to private.
  3. Keep a diary of what is happening and when.
  4. Save the evidence of the bullying e.g. screenshot the evidence.
  5. Report the bullying to the site’s service provider to have it removed.
  6. Let your child’s school know. Even if it happened at home or on a weekend, bullying usually happen within the child’s social network of peers. Plus, your school can help you with advice and support your child while at school.

More advice

  • Keep everything that is sent to your child such as emails, texts, instant messages and comments on the social media or gaming app.
  • You may choose to delete your child's current online account, such as on a social media, and start a new account. Ensure your child only gives their new details to a small list of trusted friends.
  • Ensure your child knows how to report any bullying to the site where it is occurring.
 Many social media and gaming apps have a reporting tool that can be used
  • Ensure your child knows that just because people or friends online don't say anything that it means they are going along or agreeing with the person bullying. Let them know other children or friends may be afraid of getting involved or are ignoring the person bullying as a way of not joining in.

If the bullying continues and your child is feeling afraid or threatened, you can seek help by tapping on the SUPPORT menu of the Beacon app to submit a report to the Police or The eSafety Office.