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What is cyberbullying?

"Cyberbullying" 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.

Cyberbullying can have harsh impacts on the victim such as lower self-esteem, increased suicidal thoughts, and a variety of emotional responses - being scared, frustrated, angry, and depressed. The victim may even reciprocate the cyberbullying.

Social Media sites are now another outlet where cyberbullying occurs. Popular sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can be used to embarrass or harass others as anyone can upload posts containing harmful messages, pictures or videos.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when using technology such as the Internet:

  • When picking a screen name, choose something that would be appropriate when introducing yourself to someone new so that online users do not get the wrong impression of you.
  • Look over privacy settings and make sure that your profile is not open to the public.
  • Don’t add anyone to your “friends” or “followers” list that you don’t know.
  • Think about the implications before posting any content.
  • Never post personal information such as your address or phone number.

If you are a victim of cyberbullying:

  • Do not respond to any mean messages or photos directed to you.
  • Block/ban the online bully.
  • Save the evidence.
  • Set up a new account.
  • Tell an adult that you trust so they can help you report the bully.