Web & Social Safety

Cyber Bullying

If you or someone you know need someone to talk to, for any reason, about anything, you can visit eHeadspace (new window), call Lifeline (new window) on 13 11 14, or call Kids Helpline (new window) on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day.

Bullying is repeatedly and deliberately upsetting someone through aggressive or threatening behaviour. Cyber bullying is bullying using digital technology, like the internet or a mobile phone. It can include:

  • Abusive texts, tweets, emails or Facebook posts
  • Constant harassing messages
  • Sharing inappropriate images
  • Posting unkind message or images
  • Imitating others online
  • Excluding others online
  • Inappropriate image tagging
  • Inappropriate discussions

All bullying is nasty, but cyber bullying is different because it can reach a larger audience much faster, it’s hard to escape, and messages posted publicly are hard to remove.

The good news is you can take control. You can plan your response in private, with people you trust. And most bullies aren’t technological hackers, so it’s easy to identify them, track them down and block the bullying.

If You Are Being Bullied

If someone is deliberately and repeatedly upsetting you online, it's time to stand up, protect yourself and let them know it's not on.

  • Don’t retaliate or reply - this only encourages more bullying
  • Block the person doing the bullying and change your privacy settings
  • Report it - click the 'report abuse' button
  • Collect the evidence – keep mobile phone messages and print emails or social networking conversations
  • Don’t deal with it alone - talk to someone, like a family member or friend

If you are receiving threatening messages and feel in danger, you should call 000 and report it to the police.

If Someone You Know Is Being Bullied

If you think a friend is being cyber bullied, step up and help them out. You can make a huge difference with a few simple actions.

  • Don’t forward messages or pictures - even though you didn’t start it, you will become part of the cyber bullying cycle
  • Stand up and speak out - tell a trusted adult
  • Talk to your friend and let them know that you're there to support them
  • There are lots of websites with advice on how to handle cyber bullying - sitting down with your friend and checking out some of the sites in our Links section, below, can be a good place to start

Links

eHeadspace
eheadspace is a confidential, free and secure space where young people 12 - 25 or their family can chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional.

Lifeline
If you or someone you know need someone to talk to, for any reason, about anything, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 24 hours a day.

Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
Kids Helpline is a free, 24-hour counselling service for young people aged 5-25 years. Counselling is offered by phone, email and over the web.

Websmarts: Online Bullying
This interview, produced by the Student Youth Network for its Websmarts program, looks at the impact on line bullying can have on young people.

Below the Belt: Sex, Selfies & Cyberbullying
A free Android app with info about laws on sex and consent, sexting and cyberbullying.

Bullying. No Way!
A safe and supportive site that gets to the heart of the matter.

BackMeUp
The BackMeUp 2012 campaign spread the word about what people can do if they know about someone who is being cyberbullied.

Stop Cyber Bullying
Take a stand against cyber bullying.

Cybersafety Help Button
The Australian Government's Cybersafety Help Button provides young people with easy online access to cybersafety information and assistance available in Australia.

Cybersmart
The Australian Government's Cybersmart site is designed to help empower you to be safe online.

ThinkUKnow
Helpful site full of tips on how to stay in control on the web.

Tagged
An Australian film about a group of high-school friends who post a rumour about a rival and spark a chain reaction that leaves no one untouched. Will these friends avoid being tagged forever?

A Thin Line
A US site that helps you draw the line between digital use and digital abuse.

That's Not Cool
An interactive site from the US that’s all about where you draw your digital line.





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