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Cyberbullying: what is it and how to get help: Violence, Harassment and Bullying Fact sheet

Commission Commission – General
Friday 14 December, 2012

female on a computer

Cyberbullying: what is it and how to get help

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. 

If you are being bullied and need support, go to our Get Help section

If you know or see someone being bullied, read the Supportive Bystander FactSheet to find out how to help them.

What does cyberbullying look like?

A cyberbully can be someone you know, or a stranger. They might send mean or hurtful text messages through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, or through sites where people can ask / answer questions.

Cyberbullying can also involve 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 setting up fake profiles pretending to be you, or posting messages or status updates from your accounts.

How you can be safe from bullies online

Do not share 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

Do not respond to messages when you are angry or hurt. Log out and stop messaging if you feel you are being harassed.

You can 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.

Set up the privacy options on your social networking sites like Facebook in a way you are comfortable with

Get help

Lawstuff provides legal information to children and young people in Australia. 

You can also go to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Cybersmart Program

If you have been bullied or witnessed others been bullied and need help, you can contact Kids Help Line (1800 55 1800), which 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
http://www.humanrights.gov.au/complaints_information/index.html