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Cyberbullying affects many Australians both adults and children. It can take many forms such as abusive messages, gossip and social posts, hurtful pictures, videos, or gifs. Cyberbullying of children often occurs after 10pm when parents believe their child to be asleep.
Cyberbullies can go to extreme lengths including creating fake accounts to trick or humiliate a person.
eSafety recommends to watch out for the following signs of Cyberbullying:
- being upset after using the internet or their mobile phone
- changes in personality, such as becoming more withdrawn,
anxious, sad or angry
- unexpected changes in friendship groups or avoidance of certain friends
- a decline in their school work
- appearing tired or unable to sleep
- avoidance of school or clubs
- becoming secretive about their online activities and
mobile phone use.
What do I do if my child is being cyberbullied?
Don’t take away their device as this doesn’t teach them how to deal with cyberbullies. Instead, calmly determine the scale of the problem. Talk to you child. Teach them how to block unwanted messages or friends on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter.
Limit who can contact them on Facebook messenger You can do this to Facebook friends by following these instructions and you can limit non-contact message requests (which is great for fake account bullying)
Report online harm
You can report the online harm to the social media platform and to eSafety using this form.
Prevent further contact and seek out support
Block the bully, and if applicable, report them to your child’s school. After that, it’s recommended that you encourage positive connections with your child through other friends and family.
For more information, please check out eSafety