What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. (cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.) Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Sometimes cyberbullying can be easy to spot. Your child shows you a text, tweet, or response to a status update on Facebook that is harsh, mean, or cruel. Other acts are less obvious, like impersonating a victim online or posting personal information, photos, or videos designed to hurt or embarrass another person.
Many kids and teens who are cyberbullied don't want to tell a teacher or parent, often because they feel ashamed of the social stigma or fear that their computer privileges will be taken away at home. Signs of cyberbullying vary, but may include:
If you discover that your child is being cyberbullied, offer comfort and support. Let your child know that it's not his or her fault, and that bullying says more about the bully than the victim. Praise your child for doing the right thing by talking to you about it. Reassure your child that you will figure out what to do about it together.