Cyberbullying Definition

Using the Internet to harass, intimidate, embarrass, or demean others

Cyberbullying is when kids use the Internet to harass, intimidate, embarrass, or demean others. Cyberbullies may post embarrassing information or pictures on Web pages, trick kids into giving out personal information on instant messenger, send threatening or cruel messages, or impersonate somebody else to send mean or embarrassing messages. They can even send harassing text messages to a victim’s mobile phone.

Kids who might never be mean in the real world sometimes bully online because of the feeling of anonymity that the Internet gives them. But even if they can’t see the people they are hurting, cyberbullies do real damage. Victims can suffer from low self-esteem, fall behind in school work, or become anxious, depressed, and even suicidal.

Many kids are reluctant to tell an adult if they are being bullied online. However, if you know or suspect your child is the victim of cyberbullying, there are steps you can take to stop it.

View the list of Local Resources that can assist Internet users in South Africa.