Cyberbullying is when a person bullies another person using electronic technology. Cyber bullies use mobile devices and computers, social media, text messages and websites.
- posting mean text messages or emails
- spreading rumours via email and/or social media
- distributing embarrassing pictures, videos and websites
- creating fake profiles for any of the above purposes.
Cyberbullying is different from face to face bullying
- Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and at any time of the day or night.
- Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and often impossible to trace the source.
- Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.
Kids and teens that are being cyber bullied are often bullied in person as well. Regardless of how someone is bullied, the effects of bullying are the same.
Bullying used to just happen at school. Now, using social media and other online activities, kids and teens can be bullied anywhere, including at home and when alone.
Children’s eSafety Commissioner
The Government has established the statutory position of Children’s eSafety Comissioner to help protect Australian children from cyberbullying harm and to take a national leadership role in online safety for children.
A key function of the Commissioner is to administer a complaints system backed by legislation that will quickly remove cyberbullying material that is harmful to a child.
What to do if your child is being cyber bullied
- Talk to your kids and teens and encourage them to let you know if they feel bullied or intimidated.
- Let them know ignoring the problem will not make it go away, and there are things that they can do.
- Block the bully and change your privacy settings.
- Let your kids and teens know that their internet privileges will not be taken away if they report bullying to you.
- Encourage them not to respond when someone is being aggressive or hurtful online as it often makes the situation worse.
- Read the 'Games, apps and social networking' together – it's full of great information and advice.
- If someone is posting anything about your child on a social media site, especially personal information, contact the social media service provider as they may be able to remove it.
- Be supportive your child and give them information on specialist support that can help.
- Collect the evidence – keep mobile phone messages and print emails or social networking conversations.
- Report cyberbullying to your child's school. If you have serious concerns for your child's safety, contact your local police.
- Contact the Children's eSafety Commissioner
Where to get help
Online safety information targeted to young people
- Cybersafety Help Button
- Children's eSafety Commissioner - 1800 880 176
- Games, apps and social networking.
Report abuse or suspicious activity
A full list of useful contacts can be found on the Contact us page.