Online Bullying Advice for Children
Always respect others on and offline. Think about what you say online and what images you send or post and be aware that online messages can easily be misunderstood.
Remember that anything you publish online can be made public very quickly and you will never be sure who may have seen it. Once something is posted you can lose control of who sees it and where it may end up.
Treat your password like a toothbrush. Never share it with anyone and only give your personal information like mobile phone number or email address to trusted friends. Be careful to log out of sites and apps if you share your device with others.
Learn how to block or report online bullies or anyone behaving badly and don't retaliate or reply to nasty messages. This is usually what the bullies are trying to get you to do. Remember that if you reply with a nasty or unkind comment then it could get you into trouble too.
Always make sure that you save evidence of online bullying by saving or printing out text messages, online conversation, pictures. Try and include as much information as possible, such as web addresses (URLs), contact numbers, user names, times, dates, locations.
Always make sure you tell someone if you are being bullied online:
- tell an adult you trust or contact and organisation such as ChildLine
- tell the service provider, for example, website, app, mobile phone provider, where the bullying is taking place
- if a crime has been committed or someone is at risk of harm then contact the police
If you see online bullying going on, then support the victim and report it to the website or your school, don't be a bystander and say nothing otherwise you become part of the problem.
Online Bullying Advice for Parents
Talk to your child and understand how they are using the internet and their phone.
Use safety tools and parental controls. If you're not sure how, contact your service provider but please note that these tools are not always 100% effective.
Be alert to your child being upset after using the internet or phones. They may be secretive, change relationships with friends. But be aware that your child is just as likely to be a bully as to be a target.
Role model positive online behaviour for your child. It's important that they know how to act safely and responsibly online and are aware of what content is acceptable and unacceptable to post or share.
If your child is a victim of online bullying, remember, it's not their fault so removing the technology or banning them from websites could make them less likely to speak to you in the future if they experience a problem.
Remind your child not to retaliate to any cyberbullying.
Work with the school to resolve the issue if other pupils are involved.
Keep any evidence of online cyberbullying, for example, emails, online conversations, texts, screen prints of sites or chat messages. Try to include time and dates and even locations where possible.
Report online bullying immediately:
- Contact the service provider (for example, the website, gaming site or mobile phone company) to report the user and if possible to remove the content.
- If the bullying is being perpetrated by other pupils then contact the school so they can take action in accordance with their anti-bullying and behaviour policies.
- If the bullying is serious and a potential criminal offence has been committed then consider contacting the police.
Useful links for children, young people and parents and carers: