What can I do if I’m being bullied online?

What can I do if I’m being bullied online? Written by The Diana Award

Bullying doesn’t just have an impact within the confines of the school gates. It can take place on social media, on the school bus, on online games, in youth clubs – and its impact can stretch long into adulthood.

A survey of 2,000 British adults conducted by The Diana Award in 2018 found that:

  • 55% said they have experienced bullying while at school.
  • 69% who have experienced bullying at school said their confidence has been affected as a result of this experience.
  • 81% agreed with the statement “bullying is commonplace online”.

The fact that bullying still has a significant impact on confidence in adulthood goes to show what a devastating experience it can be for young people. Bullying can make young people feel upset, uncomfortable, and unsafe. It is an experience that is far too common: it’s estimated that at any one time, there are 16,000 young people absent from school because of bullying.

At The Diana Award, we believe that nobody should experience bullying and we all have a role to play in standing up to it.

Top tips for dealing with the issue

Cyberbullying can make you feel very alone and unable to manage the situation but as with any type of bullying it is so important it is dealt with straight away.

Advice if you’re being bullied online

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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. If you have blocked the person but it is still continuing, all social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, ask.fm 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. Check out the links below to read about how you can report the person/group on different social media sites.

4. 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. A good way to do this is to press the ‘PrtScrn’ button on the right hand side of the keyboard which prints the screen and you then copy and paste this into a word document or try using Window’s ‘snipping tool’.

5. 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, but to block and monitor the situation. Sometimes the people bullying you are looking to get a reaction out of you and answering back can just make it worse.

6. 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 : )

Things that every single person who uses the internet should do…

1. Treat your password like your toothbrush! At some point we have all told someone else our password for some reason and many of us, (although we shouldn’t), have the same passwords for different log-ins. You should treat your password like your toothbrush and not share it with anyone but yourself! The best passwords contain numbers and capital letters. This will mean people can’t access your account and steal any information, pictures or personal data or pretend to be you. 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. 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 so don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want yourGrandma to see!

3. Choose who you share your information with. 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. You wouldn’t tell a random person in the street where you live and where you’ve been on holiday so act the same online. 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. Don’t ever share where you live, your telephone number or email address with friends online.

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 people like 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 The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign visit www.antibullyingpro.com.

For further support on cyberbullying, visit: