ONLINE BULLYING

Supporting young people who have experienced bullying online.

12%

of young people in the UK are affected by cyberbullying

Cyberbullying, or online bullying, is when someone uses the internet to bully
someone else. The Cambridge dictionary defines cyberbullying as
‘Someone who uses the internet to harm or frighten another person,
especially by sending them unpleasant messages.’

Best practices for parents and carers

Have an open conversation

Listen, and offer support and encouragement. If your child is the victim of cyberbullying, remind them that this is not their fault and that no one deserves to be treated in this way. Some young people think that if they are the target of online bullying, they must have done something wrong. It is also important to encourage your child to save the evidence. They can do this by taking a screenshot of what has happened or by keeping the messages they have received.

Don’t reply

Most of the time the person doing the bullying is looking for a reaction when they are being mean online. Tell your child not to reply, instead they should tell a trusted adult what has happened. Reassure them that even if they are also at fault, they should come and talk to you or a trusted adult. You can then work out the best way to resolve the situation together.

Don’t deny access to technology

Although it can be very tempting to remove a device from a young person if they are being bullied, having their device taken away may prevent them from speaking to you about worrying issues in the future.

Discuss next steps

Ask your child what they want you to do next. This might involve speaking to school to get support and advice, blocking the user or profile or reporting the behaviour to the site or service it is on.

Best practices for schools
and professionals

Understand the tools

Be aware of the reporting mechanisms on different sites and services so you can support your pupils in making a report.

Know who to report to

ensure that you are aware of who to go to in your school or organisation if you have concerns about cyberbullying incidents. This may be a head of year/department, a member of the senior leadership team, or the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Discuss online bullying

Be proactive in discussing cyberbullying with your pupils; how it occurs, why it occurs, and the consequences of such behaviour.

Resources

Useful links

Educational resources about online bullying and kindness from the UK Safer Internet Centre and other organisations

Advice for parents & carers

Guidance for parents and carers around cyberbullying

Professionals Online Safety Helpline

The UK Safer Internet Centre’s helpline supports the children’s workforce with online safety issues

Cyberbullying Guidance for Schools

Guidance for Schools: Understand, Prevent and Respond to Cyberbullying

Frequently asked questions about online bullying

Articles

Still have questions?

Maybe one of our helplines is the right place for you.

Online issues

Be in the know

You’ll get knowledge, skills and tools to make the internet safer
for young people at your care. Sent once per month.

How can I teach young people about this?

Understand the tools

Be aware of the reporting mechanisms on different sites and services so you can support your pupils in making a report.

Know who to report to

Ensure that you are aware of who to go to in your school if you have concerns about cyberbullying incidents.
This may be a head of year or department, a member of the senior leadership team, or the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Discuss cyberbullying

Be proactive in discussing cyberbullying with your pupils; how it occurs, why it occurs, and the consequences of such behaviour.

FAQs