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A guide to help young people protect themselves from Cyberbullying

cyberbullying internet safety May 31, 2023
Protection from Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying, or online bullying, is a prevalent issue in today's digital age, especially among young people. It can lead to significant emotional distress, affecting individuals' mental health and well-being. Here are several steps you or your child can take to protect against cyberbullying:

  1. Educate Yourself: Understanding what cyberbullying is and how it manifests is the first step towards prevention. Cyberbullying can occur in many forms, from spreading rumours or posting hurtful comments on social media to sending threatening messages.

  2. Keep Personal Information Private: The less personal information shared online, the less ammunition cyberbullies have to use. This includes full names, addresses, phone numbers, and images that might be used inappropriately.

  3. Use Privacy Settings: Most social media platforms offer privacy settings that control who can see your posts or send you messages. Make sure to utilize these settings to restrict access to your online presence.

  4. Think Before You Post: Remember that once something is posted online, it's tough to take back, even if it's deleted. It could be screenshotted and shared without your permission. Be cautious of what you share on the internet.

  5. Don't Respond to Cyberbullies: Responding to cyberbullies can often escalate the situation. Instead of replying to their messages or comments, ignore them.

  6. Block and Report: Most social media platforms allow you to block and report users who are harassing you. Use this feature to prevent bullies from reaching you.

  7. Document the Bullying: Keep a record of any bullying incidents, including messages, posts, or screenshots. This evidence could be important if you decide to report the bullying to your school, parents, or even law enforcement.

  8. Speak Up: If you're a victim of cyberbullying, it's important to talk to a trusted adult about what's happening. They can provide advice, support, and intervene if necessary. Remember, you're not alone, and there are people ready to help. A cyber bully might try to intimidate you and make you feel that you can't tell anyone. They are doing this to try to control you. Just speak up and tell someone you trust. Get help, don't face it on your own. Help is ready for you, just reach out.

  9. Stand Up, Don't Stand By: If you see someone else being bullied online, don't be a silent bystander. Report the bullying to a trusted adult or to the platform where it's occurring.

Remember, everyone has the right to feel safe and respected, both online and off. If you ever feel threatened or overwhelmed by cyberbullying, don't hesitate to reach out to someone you trust for support.

Further reading: Social Media Safety: Tips for Staying Safe Online

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