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.

This can help if:

  • People share embarrassing photos of you online
  • You're receiving harassing calls, texts or emails
  • People post bad stuff about you online
  • People create fake profiles pretending to be you

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.

What to do about cyberbullying

  •  Keep a record of the bullying. You can use this to report the bullying to your school if it's happening from a classmate.
  • You can also report cyberbullying online to the eSaftey Commissioner or report the bullying on different social media websites.
  • Try your hardest not engage with the bullying by responding to it. People who bully others are often looking for a response to know that they have affected you.
  • Talk to someone you trust about what is going on and how you feel about it. Opening up not only allows for support, but helps you feel less alone about what's going on.
  • Log out and stop messaging if you feel you are being harassed.

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.
  • 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: 29 June, 2017

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  • Ben-RO    (10 days ago)

    Hi JCMah, I am sorry that things have been so stressful for your daughter and your family. If you want to talk more please head over to our Parent's forums where you can get more support.

  • JCMah    (10 days ago)

    Roseanna's story is a similar to my own situation with my daughter. It go so bad we had install software on her phone to see what was going on as teenagers are very protective of their phones.

  • Ben-RO    (63 days ago)

    Naw, thanks so much Jrod! We're working on it!

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