Cyberbullying is when someone uses technology to deliberately hurt, humiliate, harass, or threaten someone else. If any of the following is happening to you, this could be an indication of cyberbullying:
- Getting nasty or threatening texts or emails
- People posting abusive messages to you on chatrooms, on your social networks, or using instant messaging services
- Having humiliating videos or pictures of yourself posted online, or sent on to other people
- Someone’s taken on your identity online to deliberately mess with your life
- A hate site or a hate group has been set up about you
- You are getting prank calls
Receiving any kind of horrible message is deeply unpleasant. It can rock your confidence and make you question your family and friends, as statistics show that in most cases it’ll be someone you know. But whoever’s behind it, and it may take some time to find out, you need to keep assuring yourself that this is their problem and not yours. What they’re doing is a cowardly act, driven by anything from jealousy to insecurity, or just plain spite.
Bullies are basically deeply insecure, after all. If they can’t give themselves a power hit by making you react on command, then chances are they’ll give up.
What to do if you’re being harassed online:
- Report any cyberbullying, whether it’s targeted at you or not, to your employer or – Bullying UK offers advice and support to victims of bullying and can be contacted on 0808 800 2222. Anyone can contact the Samaritans on their 24-hour helpline on 116 123 to talk things through.
- Never respond or retaliate, as this can make things worse. It might be difficult, but try to ignore the bullies. Block them from contacting you too.
- Save and print out any bullying messages, posts, pictures or videos you receive or see.
- Make a note of dates and times of bullying messages, along with any details you have about the sender’s ID.
- Don’t pass on cyberbullying videos or messages – that makes you as bad as the cyberbully.
- If you’re being bullied repeatedly online, think about changing your user ID, nickname or profile.
- Finally… if you think that someone else is being cyberbullied, don’t ignore it. If you see cyberbullying going on, report it and offer your support.