female on a computer

If you are being bullied and need support, it is important that you read this factsheet and go to the Get Help section. If you know or see someone being bullied go to the Supportive Bystander FactSheet to find out how to help them.

Cyberbullying is bullying that is done through the use of technology. For example, using the Internet, a mobile phone or a camera to hurt or embarrass someone is considered cyberbullying. It can be shared widely with a lot of people quickly, which is why it is so dangerous and hurtful.

What happens with cyberbullying?
  • A lot of people can view or take part in it
  • It is often done in secret with the bully hiding who they are by creating false profiles or names, or sending anonymous messages
  • It is difficult to remove as it is shared online so it can be recorded and saved in different places
  • It is hard for the person being bullying to escape if they use technology often
  • The content (photos, texts, videos) can be shared with a lot of people
  • This content may also be easy to find by searching on a web browser like Google.
What does cyberbullying look like?
  • Being sent mean or hurtful text messages from someone you know or even someone you don’t know
  • Getting nasty, threatening or hurtful messages through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, or through sites where people can ask / answer questions like Formspring or Internet forums
  • People sending photos and videos of you to others to try and embarrass or hurt you
  • People spreading rumours about you via emails or social networking sites or text messages
  • People trying to stop you from communicating with others
  • People stealing your passwords or getting into your accounts and changing the information there
  • People setting up fake profiles pretending to be you, or posting messages or status updates from your accounts
Feelings you may be having if you are being bullied
  • Feeling guilty like it is your fault
  • Feeling hopeless and stuck like you can’t get out of the situation
  • Feeling alone, like there is no one to help you
  • Feeling like you don’t fit in with the cool group
  • Feeling depressed and rejected by your friends and other groups of people
  • Feeling unsafe and afraid
  • Feeling confused and stressed out wondering what to do and why this is happening to you
  • Feeling ashamed that this is happening to you
Being safe from bullies online:
  • Do not share your private information like passwords, name and address, phone numbers with people you don’t know. This can also include sharing of photos of yourself, your friends and your family
  • Don’t respond to messages when you are angry or hurt - either to strangers and also to people you know. This will often encourage them to continue or increase their harassment of you
  • Log out and stop messaging if you feel you are being harassed
  • Remember you have the option to block, delete and report anyone who is harassing you online and on your mobile
  • Find out how to report bullying and harassment on each of the different social networks that you use
  • Keep a record of calls, messages, posts and emails that may be hurtful or harmful to you
  • Remember to set up the privacy options on your social networking sites like Facebook in a way you are comfortable with

It is important to know that each state and territory in Australia has different laws for Bullying. Lawstuff provides legal information to children and young people in Australia. Please click on your State or Territory below to get legal information related to Cyberbullying in your area:


To find out about cyberbullying and how to get help you can also go to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Cybersmart Program

Getting Help

If you have been bullied or witnessed others been bullied and need help contact:

Kids Help Line (1800 55 1800) is a free and confidential, telephone counseling service for 5 to 25 year olds in Australia. http://www.kidshelp.com.au

Lifeline (13 11 14) is a free and confidential service staffed by trained telephone counsellors. http://www.lifeline.org.au

The Australian Human Rights Commission (1300 656 419) has a complaint handling service that may investigate complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying

This fact sheet was developed in partnership with the ReachOut.com, 2011