Home > MENTAL HEALTH > Cyberbullying


What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is very common and is increasing. The actual incidence is not known, as most victims of cyberbullying didn’t came forward to seek help.

Cyberbullying can include threatening, humiliating, or intimidating someone, through the electronic medium such as instant-messaging programs, chat rooms, e-mail, social networking sites, mobile phone or though the online games.

What are the variations of cyberbullying?

  • Forms of cyberbullying include:
  • Harassing, nasty and threatening messages
  • Using someone else password or screen name or pretending to be them.
  • Forwarding others private e-mail, photos or videos
  • Posting mean or nasty comments or pictures
  • Sexting
  • Intentionally excluding others from an online group


How is cyberbullying compared to other types of bullying acts?

Cyberbullying is worse than the other bullying acts:

  • Electronic bullies can remain virtually anonymous
  • Cyberbullying penetrates the walls of a home, traditionally a place where victims could seek refuge from other forms of bullying.
  • Bullies can gang-up on their victims on electronic pages more efficiently than they do in traditional bullying, since there is no limit to the number of people who can join in.
  • Cyberbullying can occur 24 hours a day,7 days a week and 365 days a year.


What is the outcome of cyberbullying?

Severe or chronic cyberbullying can leave victims at risk for anxiety, depression, and other stress-related disorders.

In some rare but highly-publicized cases, some kids have turned to suicide.

Cyberbullying is illegal.


How to prevent cyberbullying?

  • Practice Internet safety.
  • Educate your child or student about Internet safety and the proper etiquette when using Internet or phone services.
  • Do not give out your personal details online.
  • Remember the tone and meaning of written messages can be misinterpreted
  • Remember that sending/forwarding abusive or threatening messages is inappropriate and could be deemed unlawful.


What are the warning signs of cyberbullying to watch for?

Some of the signs are:

  • Emotional distress during or after using the Internet.
  • Withdrawal from friends and family members.
  • Avoidance of school or group gatherings.
  • Slipping grades and “acting out” in anger at home.
  • Changes in mood, behavior, sleep, or appetite.
  • Wanting to stop using the computer or cell-phone.
  • Appearing nervous or jumpy when getting an instant message or email.
  • Avoiding discussions about computer or cell-phone activities.


If you are a victim of cyberbullying:

  • Talk to your parents, school counselor or teacher.
  • Keep and save as evidence any bullying e-mails, text messages or images.
  • Do not reply to bullying or threatening text messages or e-mails.

Last Reviewed : 07 June 2012
Content Writer : Dr. Hargeet Kaur a/p Basant singh