WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM BEING cYBERBULLIED?
Cyberbullying involves bullying someone through a mobile phone, the internet or other online devices such as tablets. Some examples of cyberbullying may be sending nasty text messages, leaving mean comments on someone’s photos, setting up hate groups and uploading photos without the person’s permission which makes them feel upset or humiliated.
TOP TIPS FOR DEALING WITH THE ISSUE...
- Tell someone - As with any type of bullying it so important that you don’t suffer in silence and you tell someone about it straight away. It may seem hard do but make sure you tell a trusted adult, such as a parent or teacher, and they will help you to decide what to do.
- Report the person/group - Cyberbullying is never acceptable and you should report the content (pictures, text, group etc.) to someone you trust and to the social media site. All social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, ASKfm etc have report abuse buttons, as do most mobile phone networks who have teams to deal with abuse. Games consoles also have advice on their websites. Reporting is usually anonymous so the person will not know that you have reported the content.
- Block the person/group - Most social media sites will give you the option to block and report the person/group cyberbullying you. When you block someone it usually means that the person/group will no longer be able to contact you or see any of your content. Check out the links below to read about how you can block the person/group on different social media sites.
- Save the evidence - It is really important that you save or copy any of the cyberbullying such as texts or conversations you receive so you have evidence of the cyberbullying and can show it to the relevant people.
- Don’t reply or answer back - It may be very tempting to reply to the person or group but don’t become a cyberbully yourself. Deal with the bully by blocking and reporting the abuse. It is sometimes hard not to write back, but it is always best not to retaliate. Sometimes the people bullying you are looking to get a reaction out of you and answering back can just make it worse.
- Stay positive - Although it may feel like you do not have control of the situation, you can. Make sure you do the steps above and talk to people inside and outside of school that you can trust. These people care for you and will work with you to stop the cyberbullying. Stay positive, you are not alone and things will get better : )
TOP TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE ONLINE
1. Treat your password like your toothbrush - don't share it! Change your password regularly and don't have the same one for every account. This site tells you how long it would take for someone to crack your password: https://howsecureismypassword.net/
2. Take care with what you post - Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your Grandma to see. You should always think twice about what you post online and who you share it with. Remember potential employers and teachers may be able to find what you post.
3. Take care when you share - Remember when you accept someone as your friend on instant messaging or social networks, they can access information and pictures you have posted so make sure you are happy for them to see this and you know and trust them. Check out the privacy settings which will allow you to choose the information you share with people, for example you can set your profile or data to private or only allow certain people to contact you and view particular information.
4. Google your name - Even if you don’t admit it we’ve all done this once! Typing your social media usernames and your full name into Google is a really good way to check your privacy settings and check that strangers online and potential future employers, college or university admissions tutors can't view any of the content you’ve posted on social media.
Find out more about your digital footprint with our free teaching resources, part of the Be Strong Online Programme, here: http://www.antibullyingpro.com/digital-footprint-coverpage If you’re a student and would like to raise awareness of this in your school, why not pass these resources on to a teacher who could run a training session on Digital Footprint?
HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY CHILD WHO IS BEING BULLIED?
1. Reassure - Reassure your child that they did the right thing in coming forward; young people’s imaginations are prone to creating vivid ‘worse-case scenarios’ which can inhibit them from speaking out. The fact that they’ve come to you is a big step for them.
2. Listen - Listen to what they have to say without voicing any judgement; it’s important that they feel comfortable with you taking action and that they feel some degree of power over what’s going on.
3. Avoid denying access if the bullying is taking place online– Young people use technology every day for communicating with friends as well as learning and discovering. Taking it away from them can discourage them from speaking out in the future and from accessing external support. Instead encourage them to come to you if they see anything they’re uncomfortable with and you can go through it together.
Bullying can make a child feel ashamed and scared, and they’ll be most worried about how you’ll react when they tell you. Try to stay calm, reassure them and ask questions about what your child wants you to do to help them.
Make sure you speak to your child’s school to ensure they are aware of the situation. Go through the top tips above with your child and ask them what you would like to do to help.
WHAT SHOULD A TEACHER DO IF A CHILD REPORTS THEY ARE BEING CYBERBULLIED?
1. Thank them for coming to talk to you and being brave to speak out about the bullying.
2. Ask them to show you the online content and follow steps 1 – 6 in the section above if they have not done this already.
3. Cyberbullying can make a person feel ashamed and out of control of the situation. Ask the child what the next steps are that they want to take. It is important that they have a say in this process as they may not want you to talk straight away to the bully.
4. Inform the child’s parents so they can keep an eye on them at home.
5. Make sure you follow the school’s anti-bullying procedures and keep a record of what has happened.
You can find free resources to help on our website: http://www.antibullyingpro.com/resources/
You may be interested in our Be Strong Online resources, a free peer-to-peer training programme to start a conversation with students about cyberbullying in your school. Download the Be Strong Online module on cyberbullying here: http://www.antibullyingpro.com/vodafone-sign-up
For further support you can call POSH (Professionals Online Safety Helpline): http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/about/helpline You can call POSH on 0844 381 4772 Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. The Helpline can be emailed at any time, and these will be responded to during our normal working hours.
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