What is Cyber Bullying
Cyberbullying is bullying. It is using the internet, a mobile phone or other technology like a camera to hurt somebody or embarrass them.
What does cyberbullying involve?
Bullying in 'cyberspace' covers the use of the internet or other devices like mobile phones, cameras or game consoles to do any of the following:
Send anonymous texts or picture messages to a mobile phone
- Post nasty or threatening comments on the victim’s social networking profile on popular websites like Bebo and Facebook
- Hacking existing website accounts or creating fake profiles for people they want to intimidate or embarrass.
- Circulate photos or videos of people they are targeting – these can be real images or digitally altered to cause offence or embarrass the victim.
- Scare or embarrass their victims and victims may feel upset or ashamed.
- Spread rumours or try to isolate others using this new technology.
What can you do to prevent cyberbullying?
- Be careful who you give your mobile number to and do not pass on friends' numbers without asking them first.
- Do not respond to texts from people you do not know. These can often be sent randomly to find people to bully.
- If you witness cyberbullying try to help the victim. You can offer them support, or report the bullying anonymously if that feels safer.
- Do not post revealing pictures of yourself or others online - they may get sent on and used to bully you or other people.
- Keep your online identity safe - create strong passwords with a mix of lower and upper case letters and numbers. Pick difficult answers for your “secret question” on your accounts that people who know you would not easily guess.
- Do not share your password with anyone - even your friends.
What can I do if I am being cyberbullied?
- Do not reply to the people bullying you, especially to text messages from numbers you do not know.
- Tell people you trust - a good friend, a parent, or a teacher. They will want to help you stop the bullying quickly and safely.
- Save evidence of all bullying messages and images. You can save messages on your phone and take screen shots of bullying on websites or IM chats. This may be used later if you report the bullying to your school or the police.
- If you are being bullied on a website or instant messenger, block the bullying and report the abuse to the website.
- If you are receiving bullying text messages or calls tell your mobile phone company.
- If any cyberbullying threatens harm - like hurting or fighting - this breaks the law - making threats of harm is criminal behaviour in New Zealand. Save the evidence and contact the Police.
If you are worried about your safety contact the Police immediately. Bring in any evidence you have when you meet with the police (messages stored on your phone or print outs of screenshots).
If you think the people bullying you are at school or you know of someone who is being cyberbullied, then tell the Guidance Counsellor, your Teacher, Dean, or a senior member of Staff as soon as possible.
For further information and advice, please go to: http://www.cyberbullying.org.nz