Cyberbullying

What is it?

Cyberbullying is the name given to bullying that is conducted through electronic communication technologies such as mobile phones, email, SMS and social network sites.

How does it work?

Modern technologies offer many new channels for bullying. A common form is to send threatening or disparaging messages to the subject's mobile phone. Another method is to post messages or images in chat rooms and social media sites where they can be seen by the subject and their peers. Cyberbullying can involve teasing, spreading rumours or simply posting unwanted messages, and is usually an ongoing issue for the subject.

Why is cyberbullying useful?

It isn't. It is however relatively easy for bullies to use digital technology to torment others.

What do you need to do if your child is being cyberbullied?

It is important that parents carefully monitor their children's electronic communications. Computers should be kept in open areas of the home, not in kids' bedrooms.

Mobile phones should be turned off at night and removed from bedrooms.

Watch for changes in your child's behaviour. A child that suddenly shows disinterest in a service that they had previously used, such as Facebook, may be doing so as a result of being bullied on the service.

Children can be reluctant to tell adults about online bullying, for fear of having their phone or computer taken away.

Parents need to report instances of suspected cyberbullying to school authorities.

All NSW public schools have anti-bullying policies to deal with student-related bullying - offline or online.

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