Cyber Safety Solutions | Cyberbullying
Cyber Safety Solutions.
Cyber Safety Solutions, Susan McLean
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Cyberbullying

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is a way of delivering covert psychological bullying. It uses information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behaviour, by an individual or group that is intended to harm others.  – Bill Belsey 2007

Cyberbullying can be described as any harassment, insults and humiliation that occurs through the electronic mediums such as email, mobile phones, social networking sites, instant messaging programs, chat rooms, websites and through the playing of online games.

Download Fact Sheet

Forms of Cyberbullying can include:-

  • Harassing and threatening messages
  • Sending nasty SMS, Instant Message (IM) pictures or prank phone calls
  • Using a persons screen name or password to pretend to be them
  • Forwarding others private emails, messages, pictures or videos
  • Posting mean or nasty comments or pictures
  • Sending sexually explicit images – sexting
  • Intentionally excluding others from an online group

What to do if my child or someone I know is being cyberbullied?

  • Do not be angry with your child – remember that they are the victim and it is someone else doing the wrong thing.
  • Praise them for coming to you – this is a big step as most children are frightened to tell a parent about cyberbullying
  • Save and store the emails, chat logs or SMS’s in case of Police investigation
  • Help your child to block and delete the bully from all contact lists
  • Do not respond to nasty emails, chats, SMS or comments – this is what the bully wants, so ignore them. (They will need your help to do this)
  • Use the ‘report abuse’ button which all websites/applications have. Tell them the problems you are having and they are obligated to investigate.
  • Have some ‘down time’ without computer or mobile (do not do this as punishment, rather as some peaceful time where they are not being bothered)
  • If unwanted contact continues, consider deleting email, msn, hotmail etc and start a new account. Only give your new details to a small list of trusted friends.
  • Get a new phone number if being harassed on your phone. Report the problem to your phone company and insist on a new number for free.
  • Inform the school. It is important that they know what is going on so that they can monitor any issues at school
  • If ongoing report to Police. Each state has laws that prohibit online bullying and stalking. You don’t have to put up with it.

What can I do if I am or someone I know is being cyberbullied?

  • Tell your parents, teacher or other trusted adult – don’t stay silent and hope it will go away – it won’t!
  • Save and store the emails, chat logs or SMS’s in case of Police investigation
  • Block and delete the bully from all contact lists
  • Do not respond to nasty emails, chats, SMS or comments – this is what the bully wants, so ignore them. (They will need your help to do this)
  • Use the ‘report abuse’ button which all websites/applications have. Tell them the problems you are having and they are obligated to investigate.
  • Have some ‘down time’ without computer or mobile. Give yourself some time away from technology just for a break
  • If the bullying continues – delete your current email, msn, hotmail etc and start a new account. Only give your new details to a small list of trusted friends.
  • Get a new phone number if being harassed on your phone. Report the problem to your phone company and insist on a new number for free.
  • If the bullying continues, get mum or dad to report the bullying to the Police. Each state has laws that prohibit online bullying and stalking. You don’t have to put up with it.

Signs a child may be being cyberbullied.

  • Change  in  mood  and/or  behaviour
  • Lowering  of  grades  at  school
  • Not  wanting  to  go  to school/sport etc
  • Not  feeling  ‘well’,  headaches,  stomach-­‐aches
  • Being  extra  secretive  in  online  activities
  • ‘Jumpy’  when  text  messages  arrive
  • Not  putting  their  phone  down
  • Wanting  to  be  online  all  the  time….or  never
  • Changes  in  their  online  habits
  • Upset,  angry,  teary……rebellious  when  not  previously
  • Change  in  friendship  groups
  • Spending  more  time  with  family  instead  of  friends

What can I do if my child is the cyberbully?

  • Support  the  child,  they  are  probably  feeling  awful  too
  • Talk  to  them  about  their  actions
  • Try  and  find  out  why    they  behaved  in  this  way
  • Ask  them  to  imagine  they  were  the  victim…how  would  they   feel  (empathy)
  • Work  together  to  improve  the  situation…apology  etc
  • Work  towards  preventing  further  incidents
  • Enlist  the  help  of the school,  welfare  staff,  local  GP  or  child   psychologist