Cyber-Bullying – an insight

Cyber bullying is classed as ‘bullying’ but because it happens online or via mobile phones, it can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you are being bullied, you can usually get away from it at home, but if you are being cyber bullied, you simply can’t escape it. This might leave you feeling unsafe even when you are at home. It can also be difficult to see who is doing the bullying. People are able to cyber bully people anonomously by hiding their computer’s IP address or their phone number. The number of people being cyber bullied may also be much bigger than other types of bullying.

How can someone be cyber-bullied? There are lots of ways in which someone can become a victim of cyber bullying.

Email Sending abusive or nasty emails to someone. The emails might also go to a group of people who then may join in the bullying. Sending emails containing inappropriate things and computer viruses is also considered bullying.

Instant Messaging or chatrooms Using instant messaging or chat rooms to send threatening or abusive messages to someone and asking others to join in.

Social Networking Sites Creating fake profiles in order to make fun of other people. Using them to leave abusive messages or impersonate someone.

Mobile Phones Sending abusive text messages, video or photo messages as well as sharing videos containing abusive content.

I’m being cyber-bullied – MAKE IT STOP!

Although cyber bullying can’t physically hurt you it can still make you feel bad and is still a form of emotional abuse. No one has the right you make you feel like this. It might seem that there is no way to make it stop, but there are things that you can do to prevent it from happening or make it stop.

• Talk to someone you trust like a parent or teacher. They can help you to sort it out. Or you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111 to speak to someone who can help you. 
• Don’t reply to any messages you receive, as this may encourage the bullies.
• Keep a copy of the abusive emails, texts or messages that you receive and when they were sent to you. 
• Never give out any personal details on the internet such as your real name, address, age or phone number. Even telling someone which school you go to can help them find out information about you. 
• Change your online nicknames or user ID to something different. 
• Block email addresses and/ or complain to host website.
• Report the abuse through the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) website.

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