Cyberbullying is any kind of bullying or harassment done using technology. It really sucks because it can be public, hard to take down, or affect you at home. There are a lot of things it could be, and it can affect people in a lot of different ways. Take 5 minutes to skill up on how to protect yourself.

Signs this might be a problem...

  • people share embarrassing photos of you online
  • harassing calls, texts or emails
  • people posting bad stuff about you online
  • people using your Facebook and Twitter to say humiliating stuff
  • people setting up fake profiles pretending to be you
Girl in bandana looking at mobile

Cyberbullying – what it is and why it sucks

Cyberbullying is bullying that is done through the use of technology, for example, using the Internet, a mobile phone or a camera to hurt or embarrass someone. It can be shared widely with a lot of people quickly, which is why it is so dangerous and hurtful.

Why is cyberbullying so bad?

  • A lot of people can view or take part in it
  • It is often done in secret with the bully hiding who they are by creating false profiles or names, or sending anonymous messages
  • It is difficult to remove as it is shared online so it can be recorded and saved in different places
  • It is hard for the person being bullied to escape if they use technology often
  • The content (photos, texts, videos) can be shared with a lot of people
  • This content may also be easy to find by searching on a web browser like Google.

What does cyberbullying look like?

  • Being sent mean or hurtful text messages from someone you know or even someone you don’t know
  • Getting nasty, threatening or hurtful messages through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, or through sites where people can ask / answer questions like Formspring or internet forums
  • People sending photos and videos of you to others to try and embarrass or hurt you
  • People spreading rumours about you via emails or social networking sites or text messages
  • People trying to stop you from communicating with others
  • People stealing your passwords or getting into your accounts and changing the information there
  • People setting up fake profiles pretending to be you, or posting messages or status updates from your accounts

How it can affect people

  • Feeling guilty like it is your fault
  • Feeling hopeless and stuck like you can’t get out of the situation
  • Feeling alone, like there is no one to help you
  • Feeling like you don’t fit in with the cool group
  • Feeling depressed and rejected by your friends and other groups of people
  • Feeling unsafe and afraid
  • Stressed out wondering what to do and why this is happening to you

How to protect yourself

  • Don’t share your private information like passwords, name and address, phone numbers with people you don’t know. Be cautious about sharing photos of yourself, your friends and your family
  • Don’t respond to messages when you are angry or hurt - either to strangers or people you know. This will often encourage them to continue or increase their harassment of you
  • Log out and stop messaging if you feel you are being harassed
  • Remember you have the option to block, delete and report anyone who is harassing you online and on your mobile
  • Find out how to report bullying and harassment on each of the different social networks that you use – see the Easy guide to socialising online for info on how to do this on different sites
  • Keep a record of calls, messages, posts and emails that may be hurtful or harmful to you
  • Remember to set up the privacy options on your social networking sites like Facebook in a way you are comfortable with.
For legal stuff, check out the legal rights fact sheet.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (1300 656 419) has a complaint handling service that may investigate complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying.

What can I do now?

  • Keep a record of what has been said and done online
  • Find out more about your legal rights when it comes to bullying
  • Talk to someone about what's going on, whether that's a teacher, parent or counsellor


Last reviewed: 19 August, 2014

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  • NathanP    (12 days ago)

    Ok thanks for responding so quickly it helped a lot!

  • Billy-RO    (13 days ago)

    Hi NathanP

    All of our content (including this fact sheet) is written by mental heath professionals in collaboration with young people. Thanks for reaching out!


  • NathanP    (13 days ago)

    Who is the author to this article

  • rt262    (189 days ago)

    Hey Courtney cyber bullying, or any bullying, is not okay. The most important thing is to take care of yourself first. If you need help right away try the emergency help info at the top of this page. And have a go posting on the forums, there is always support there for you too.

  • courtney skie    (193 days ago)

    i use to eat KFC but thanks to this i only eat MC donalds now

  • NigioC    (242 days ago)

    Hey Pandalover, I'm so sorry you're going through this after losing your Mum.It must be so hard for you. Please follow Sophie's suggestion and try the Reach Out forums. There's lots of awesome young people there who have gone through really tough times too and would be more than willing to share their experiences with you. I hope you do. And I hope you get some help with the bullying, you really don't deserve it.

  • Sophie-RO    (242 days ago)

    Hey Pandalover - I really encourage you to come over to the forums and continue this chat over there - Sounds like you have quite a lot going on at the moment and it's really great that you are looking for help and have reached out to us here. Keep along that path - there is help for you and you don't have to deal with this all on your own. Do you still see a psychologist or doctor for your anxiety/depression? Have you told them what is going on with the bullying?

  • Pandalover    (244 days ago)

    Hi Guys,
    I read what Jenny said earlier that's horrible, anyway my mum died recentley and I'm being bullied to a point where it is becoming depressing by my friend on social media and I'm sick of it, I have anxiety and mild depression which sucks and have been treated for over a year. So hopefully this service helps more than others!. Also have a lot of family issues right now with my dad.

  • Sophie-RO    (516 days ago)

    Jenny bear - please contact 1800 RESPECT immediately - You can call them on Call 1800 737 732 or use the webchat feature on the website.

  • Jenny bear    (517 days ago)

    I am also pregnant again whilst this is all happening as well

  • Jenny bear    (517 days ago)

    So I am needing some serious help. I have contacted Kids HelpLine, and they havent really helped me enough... I am getting abused here at home. I have 1 daughter and each night she is asking me why my parents are physically and mentally abusing me. She deserves to know the truth, I am not going to lie to her and neither is my boyfriend. We don't want our daughter to grow up learning how to lie... What should we do? How do we tell my daughter what is going on? I have brused ribs because of the physical abuse I am getting by my parents.

    I have been hit, kicked, punched, I have even been ppushed up against the wall and been pinned there while I get beaten up by my own parents... I want to deal with this myself, I just want and am looking for some advice on how to handle this on my own? How do we tell my daughter? I am only 16 my boyfriend is 17. We can't move out as I am not 17 yet. I don't turn 17 until July 8th next year... Please help me please???

    I am in desperate need of some help... Here is another twist, I would be in the bathroom getting ready for school, as my boyfriend stays home with our daughter whilst I still complete high school... My 10 year old brother could come up near me and rub up against me and be sexually abusive towards me. What the hell do I do in this situation as well???

    I know this comment has nothing to do with the cyberbullying, however, I just don't know what category this would come under as and just need some URGENT advice please????