How to handle cyberbullying

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Cyberbullying has consequences in real life! It affects friends, schoolwork, and mental health. Luckily, it is possible to deal with it! Here’s how.

If someone’s the victim of cyberbullying, they often don’t want to talk about it. They may be afraid of having their Internet access taken away, of being treated as a snitch, of not being taken seriously, of the cyberbully taking revenge on them, etc. That’s normal. But withdrawing from society only gives the bully much more power. To break free from a bullying problem, you can’t keep it to yourself: talk about it.


I’m being cyberbullied and it’s bothering me. Why?


Cyberbullying can create a feeling of isolation and erode self-esteem. It creates stress, fear, and distress. You might even feel physically ill, find it hard to function in various areas of your life, or feel consumed by negative thoughts. These actions might affect your reputation or you might be living with fear if someone’s threatening you. In other words, if the cyberbullying is making you feel bad, that’s perfectly normal! Don’t keep the problem to yourself. Talk about it to someone you trust. Together, you’ll feel stronger!


How can I protect myself?  🛡

To prevent the situation from getting worse, here are some methods to protect yourself from cyberbullying:


Technical methods


  • Save and print 🖨 the bullying messages; you need proof of what’s happening to you.
  • Immediately leave the online environment and activity where it’s happening.
  • Block contact 🚫 with the bullies on the relevant platforms; that will prevent you from seeing the messages and you’ll feel less hurt and less tempted to react.
  • Report ✋🏿 violent comments, inappropriate photos, or abuse to the platform managers and your Internet service provider.
  • If it happens on your cell phone 📱,inform the phone company and block the bully’s phone number.


Personal methods


  • Just because something’s written down, it doesn’t mean it’s true! Ignore the messages as much as possible and think about your strengths, talents, and successes, and the people who love you.
  • Ask a friend for help. Surround yourself with people who like you and talk about what’s happening. Together, you’re stronger. 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾
  • Tell a trusted adult and call the police 🚨 together, especially if the cyberbullying includes threats of physical harm. If it’s related to your school, tell the school principal too.


Don’t keep your problem to yourself. If people you trust know what’s going on, they can protect you. Remember: nobody deserves to be bullied. Take your courage in both hands and act!


I’m being threatened online. What can I do?


Threatening someone, on the Internet or elsewhere, is very serious! Some actions can even be punished by law, such as harassment, physical threats, attacks on someone’s reputation, or distributing intimate images of a person without his/her consent.


Keep the evidence of the threats you’re getting. Save and print bullying screenshots, conversations, or emails. Then you can use this evidence to defend yourself.


Don’t keep these threats to yourself. Even if you’re scared to do it, talk to an adult you trust: one of your parents, another family member, or a counsellor. It will make you feel better to share your anxieties, and you’ll have support in finding a solution. Two heads are better than one!