Part 1 : Know What to Look For
- Look for signs of harassment. Cyber bullying often takes the form of one person harassing another through emails, instant messages, text messages or other modes of electronic communication. Harassment is taking place if the bully is directly contacting someone with one or more of the following types of messaging:
Hateful or threatening verbal messages. This includes name-calling, attempts to control someone's behavior by threatening to expose embarrassing information and/or threats of violence.
Embarrassing or threatening images or videos.
An unending barrage of emails, instant messages or texts, whether or not they are threatening in nature.
Lies about the person to make them look bad.
Part 2 : Take Immediate Action
- Attempt to identify the cause. Some bullies start out as a friend, an ex, or someone else you know well. If it seems possible to have a reasonable discussion with the person, consider asking him or her to stop. Have the conversation in person, not through email or text.
Keep in mind there may not always be a reason for cyber bullying, or one that is straightforward. Sometimes people lash out on others because of their own insecurities. In any case, it is not your fault.
If you don't know who the bully is, or if you're being bullied by a group of people, attempting to talk it out probably won't work. You may need to take a stronger action.
Part 3 : Get Outside Help
- Don't wait too long to ask for help. You might be tempted to let the bullying run its course instead of bringing attention to the problem, but if you do that the bully will get the message that there's no penalty for putting someone else in danger. Don't assume the problem will go away on its own; speak up immediately to put a stop to it.
If you're a child or teenager, ask an adult for help. Your parents, teachers, principal and school counselor are all in a position to put a stop to the situation before it goes any further.
If you're a parent, take the situation seriously and address it immediately. Cyber bullying has often had tragic consequences.
Part 4: Prevent Cyber Bullying
- Never share information online if it could be used against you. Cyber bullies often use pictures, status updates, and personal information they find online to harass their targets. It's fine to share a little information about yourself online, but never reveal something you don't want the whole world to know.
Don't take an explicit photo of yourself to send to someone else, and never let someone else take an explicit photo of you. You may be in love with your significant other now, but if you break up, you won't have control over what happens to those pictures. Many cases of cyber bullying involve former significant others trying to get revenge on their exes by distributing explicit pictures.
Personal information sent through private emails, texts and instant messages could land in the hands of a cyber bully. Try not to discuss embarrassing or deeply personal information online. Even if you're only telling a friend, you never know how the information might get out. It's best to discuss serious matters in person.