Online bullying (or cyberbullying) is that bullying covers sending, posting, or sharing: negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone, and can include using personal or private information to embarrass or humiliate someone.
Online bullying is unique because it is:
- Persistent – the internet is 24 hours a day, so it can be hard for kids to get away.
- Permanent – if content is not reported and removed it can impact your kids in the future.
- Hard to notice – as new apps and social media platforms become available, it can be hard to know what is happening.
How to keep your children safe from online bullying
- Set expectations and stay calm – talk to your children about what they do online and what you want them to do.
- Understand and evaluate the situation.
- Understand how your children are being affected.
- Don’t take away their devices, as they might be receiving support from their friends as well.
- Work through a plan together – How to create an online plan(external link).
You can block phone numbers that are sending bullying or abusive messages.
To find out how, search “how to block phone numbers” and the model of your child’s phone. You can also contact your service provider to block numbers or disable the account that texts come from.
Contact the school
If the bullying is happening at school, you can contact your child’s teacher. If you need help to do this, you can contact Netsafe(external link).
Online bullying via social media
You can deal with online bullying by reporting it to the social media platform. Instructions on how to report, lock content and unfriend people on social media is available here:
- Facebook(external link)
- Snapchat(external link)
- Instagram(external link)
- YouTube(external link)
- Twitter(external link)
Where to get help
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Netsafe(external link):
The Netsafe helpline is open:
- Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm.
- Weekends: 9am to 5pm.
If your child needs counselling, contact Youthline(external link):