What You Need to Know

Technology is more accessible today than ever, especially for children and young people. New technology has many positive uses, but unfortunately if not used safely can have negatives, such as cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is when…

someone hurts, threatens or frightens you regularly, by sending messages or images using the Internet, mobile phones or other forms of digital communication.

Cyberbullying can include:

  • texting frightening or offensive messages by mobile phone
  • sending embarrassing or distasteful photographs by mobile phone
  • using online chat rooms, social networking sites or message boards to post malicious messages
  • deleting the victim's name or disregarding their messages on social networking sites.

Types of cyberbullying

Some sites commonly used by children and young people

This list is not extensive as there are far too many to name. These are just the most popular sites that a large number of young people use.

Social networking sites

  • Facebook (13+)                     
  • MySpace (13+ years)
  • Bebo (13+ years)
  • Hi-5 (13+ years)
  • Twitter (no age restriction)
  • SocialVibe (no age restriction) 

Video / music / picture sites

  • YouTube (no age restriction, but there is a block on young people under 18 viewing some videos)
  • Piczo (requires parental permission for under 13, by providing an email address)
  • Flixter (13+ years)
  • Flickr (13+ years, possesses a block on over 18 content)
  • Last.fm (no age restriction).

Chat programs

  • Yahoo Messenger
  • AOL Messenger

Some of these websites have mobile sites, which mean they can be used on a mobile phone that is internet enabled. To find further information about websites and how to keep your child safe visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk

The effects of cyberbullying

Although cyberbullying doesn’t harm a person physically, it can affect them emotionally. It can still leave a young person feeling vulnerable and distressed. They may also feel scared, isolated and harassed and think that there is no escape.

Siannii's story

You can view Siannii's story on the BBC Website. This video is about a 15 year old girl called Siannii who was cyberbullied and highlights the consequences and effects it had on her. It also highlights how schools can deal with cyberbullying.

BBC Newsround report

Cyberbullies use the web, or mobile phones, to send nasty messages. Georgia describes how it felt to receive such messages and how she eventually tackled the problem. Published on BBC Newsround.