What is Cyber Bullying?

Cyber bullying is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyber stalking. Adult cyber-harassment or cyberstalking is not cyber bullying.

Preventing Cyber Bullying

Educating the kids about the consequences, like losing their ISP or IM accounts, helps prevent cyber bullying because the child doens't like the consequences. Teaching them to respect others and to take a stand against bullying of all kinds helps too. Another way to help is to strengthen the victim.

How to Stop Cyber Bullying

Two effective ways to stop cyber bullying are Confiding in a trusted adult or telling the bully to stop. Some kids who get bullied are too shy to do either of these, however, so adults need to be on the lookout for cyber bullying that is not being reported.

How to Report Cyber Bullying

To report cyber bullying, you should contact officials like the police or FBI. In order to get the result you desire, be clear about your intentions to press charges or not. If you decide to press charges, don't be surprised if the bully is not convicted. It is very difficult to prove that someone was using a computer at a certain time, it could have been anyone.

Responding to Cyber Bullying

The best way to respond to cyber bullying is to not respond at all because that can encourage the bully. Instead, you should gather the digital evidence and save it in a safe place so it doesn't get accidentally deleted. It's also a good idea to print out these stored items so you have a hard copy too.

Parental Resources