Cyber bullying is when someone uses computers, mobile phones or other technology to bully someone else. The bully might tease or make fun of you, or send messages to you that you don’t want. They might also spread rumours about you, or say things that aren’t true. A cyber bully can be anonymous. Groups of people might also cyber bully you, and you might feel helpless and ganged up on.
Cyber stalking happens more often and goes on longer than cyber bullying. It can make you feel frightened or controlled. The cyber stalker uses email, text messages, web sites like Facebook, or other technology to make threats or sexual suggestions. Sometimes the stalker might ask to meet you in real life, and may want to hurt you physically.
What can I do about it?
Just like when you are being hurt or bullied by someone else, you should talk to an adult you trust and work out a plan for dealing with it. You could talk to a teacher, your parents or a school counsellor. If this is too difficult, talk to a friend you trust.
What if they ban me from using the net?
Young people are afraid of being banned from using the internet or their computer if they tell their parents they are having trouble online. This is like being punished for something you did not do. It happens because parents see keeping you safe and protecting you as their job. They do not want anyone to hurt you.
So help them work out other ways to keep you safer online. Ask them to sit with you to explore some options and make a plan together. A great place to start: Cybersmart.
Remember that if the bullying or staling continues or gets bad, it will make you feel a lot worse than the possibility of being offline for a few weeks till things get sorted.