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    (66 days ago)

    Ok thanks for responding so quickly it helped a lot!

  • Billy-RO    (67 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    (67 days ago)

    Who is the author to this article

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