Cyberbullying may make you feel helpless and isolated, so we have tips on how to deal and cope with it
With the increasing importance of online presences, bullying is taking new forms. So it’s important you’re aware of the different forms cyberbullying and how you can cope with cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying (or online bullying) is different from other forms of bullying because it takes place online, like on Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. With online bullying you may be bullied by someone you know or even a stranger.
Cyberbullying can take many different forms, it could include:
- Spreading mean rumours about someone
- Posting or liking mean photos about someone
- Threatening someone online
- Excluding someone from group chats or online chat rooms
- Online harassment from people you know or even strangers.
- Impersonation where someone hacks your online identity to post mean or embarrassing things about someone
- Online stalking
What’s The Impact of Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying can be very difficult to deal with. Whether you’re experiencing online harassment or you find online platforms greatly affect your confidence — you’re not alone. Online bullying can impact your mental health, with 38% of young people reporting social media has a negative impact on their self-esteem. So remember that none of this is your fault. And it can be very hard to completely shield yourself against the negative sides of the internet. Don’t feel bad if you need to take a break from social media for your mental health.
How Can You Stay Safe Online?
While it may be hard to avoid some negative impacts of the internet, there’s some ways you can try and stay safe online:
1. Protect Your Personal Information
You can protect yourself against hackers by regularly changing your passwords and making passwords tricky to guess. Try to keep personal information to yourself, especially when communicating online. In addition, you may not want to send images or messages you wouldn’t want others to see. Once you send a message or image to someone else, you don’t know what that person might do with it or how they may use it against you. So you may want to think twice before sending something.
2. Report Abuse
One of the easiest things you can do to stop online abuse is to block or report that user. So don’t forget you have the power to stop someone from contacting you.
3. Take Action
Depending on what form of cyberbullying you’re experiencing, it could be considered a criminal offence. For example, it’s against the law in the UK to threaten someone over the internet. If you think you may want to report cyberbullying, make sure to take a picture or screenshot of abusive messages. There’s lots of practical advice on how to report cyberbullying, if that’s what you want to do.
Like other forms of bullying, cyberbullying can be scary. So don’t forget there’s plenty of ways to be safe and healthy online. There’s also lots of places you can reach out to for mental health support whenever you need it.
Page last reviewed: 20 July 2020