Being bullied online can have a devastating impact on anyone who experiences it. Cyberbullying can happen on social networking sites, gaming sites, chat rooms – anywhere online. It can be hard to prove and/or get it to stop.
Cyberbullying commonly includes sending nasty messages and/or hurtful emails; excluding children from online games, activities or friendship groups; or setting up hate groups about a particular child.
As with other forms of bullying, if your child is being bullied, they may feel alone and confused, become secretive or protective about their day or digital life. There may be a noticeable change in their personality – such as becoming angry, upset or quiet. They may not want to use their computer or phone, or become nervous or jumpy when receiving instant messages, texts or emails.
If you suspect your child is being bullied online:
Reassure your child it’s not their fault and that they don’t deserve to be treated that way.
Explain cyberbullying in simple words and ask if anything like that has happened to them. Keep calm and listen carefully to what they say.
Show them how to block anyone who posts hateful or abusive things about them on the apps or online services they use – details of how to do this are usually in the help or online safety area, under Settings.
Keep evidence of the bullying, such as text messages, a record of incidents, or screenshots if the bullying is happening online.
Arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher to explain what has been happening – all schools have a responsibility to protect their pupils from bullying, whether the bullying is happening on the premises, outside or on the internet. Agree what action they will take and when. Agree when you will speak to them again to see what progress has been made.