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Photo: Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using technology

We have lots of information about staying safe online and what to do if your child is being cyberbullied.

  • A flyer for young people: How to stay safe and smart online
  • Information for parents with tips on what they can do to keep their child safe online
  • Online safety lesson plans for secondary school teachers.

Helping your child to stay safe from cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using technology such as mobile phones, computers, and tablets. Examples of cyberbullying might include unpleasant text messages or emails, rumours spread by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures or videos and fake profiles.

Cyberbullying can be particularly difficult to deal with because:

  • it’s harder for your child to get away from it as it can happen at any time of day or night and also while they’re at home
  • it can be done anonymously which can make it difficult, or even impossible, to trace the source of information posted on the internet
  • it can reach a wide audience very quickly
  • it’s really difficult to delete inappropriate messages once they’re posted on the internet.

Suggestions for helping your child to stay safe

  • Talk to your child about cyberbullying and how important it is to take steps to protect against it. Although you can set parental controls, in practice, these don’t always work or can be got round, so it’s important that children and young people understand why they need to take some responsibility for keeping themselves safe.
  • Check that your child knows how to do the following (or ask them to tell you how to do it):
    • adjust privacy settings and withhold personal details on social networking sites so that only people they know and trust can access personal information
    • block the sender of any unpleasant texts
    • report online abuse to website administrators.

If your child is affected by cyberbullying then try to make sure you or your child keep a copy of any messages or posts that would prove your child is being bullied in this way.

For more information on cyberbullying:

Childline - Bullying and cyberbullying

Anti-Bullying Alliance - Online bullying

NSPCC - Bullying and cyberbullying