It can be difficult to completely prevent cyberbullying, but there are steps yourself can take to help protect you from being a victim. Follow our 10 steps below, audit your online profile and block the cyberbully!
Understand the different forms of cyberbullying. You can’t prevent it if you don’t understand how it happens. We have developed a blog post explaining the 10 Forms of Cyberbullying, so be sure to read it as a first step (link)
Think before you post. Never forget that the Internet is public. What you put out there can never be erased. Google has an everlasting memory! If you wouldn’t say something in front of your parents, teachers or a room full of strangers, then don’t say it online! Also, be careful about sharing private information in Instant Messaging as this could be shared with or seen by somebody else.
Review your privacy settings. All social networking sites have privacy settings, which allow you to control who sees what you post. Review these settings and follow best practice. It’s important to check your privacy settings frequently, because Internet sites sometimes change their policies.
Keep private information private. Don’t reveal identifying details about yourself — address, phone number, school, credit card number, etc. — online. Passwords exist for a reason; sharing them with friends is like passing out copies of your house key to friends and strangers alike. If anyone besides you knows your passwords, it should be your parents and your parents only.
Educate yourself. Reading this infographic is a good starting point. Why not consider taking a course to empower yourself in using the Internet safely and securely while having fun?
Educate others. Share your knowledge with your friends at school and online. Offer to share your knowledge in your school, at your sports or at another club. Post top tips on your social networking sites.
Speak out. If you see somebody you know being a cyberbully, do not protect them, or be a bystander. You must speak out! Also, if you see a friend being cyberbullied, encourage them to speak out. They may need somebody else to reassure them it’s the right thing to do.
Set boundaries. It’s really important to have boundaries and rules around social media and Internet use. This is not aimed at preventing you from having fun online but to ensure you do it safely. So it’s a good idea to have some ground rules at home.
Take immediate action. If you suspect you are being cyberbullied, tell a trusted adult immediately. Take screenshots of the suspected cyberbullying messages / incidences and block the individual concerned.
Finally, don’t ever be a cyberbully. Don’t be part of an online discussion which has the potential to become sinister or hurtful towards another person.
Always, always be a good digital citizen!