How to respond to cyberbullying


Everyone has a right to be safe and respected online. Being cyberbullied is not acceptable. 

If you are being bullied, consider the following steps as a response:


  1. Assertively ask the bully to STOP

  2. IGNORE them and avoid retaliating

  3. BLOCK and/or unfriend the bully

  4. Keep a record of the bully’s messages and REPORT them to the appropriate authorities

  5. Seek SUPPORT from your friends, family, or professional support services in your country if you feel unsafe


If you would like to learn more about how to respond to and prevent cyberbullying in higher education, you can read the How To Fact Sheet by clicking on the link below.



How to respond: Bystanders


If you are a bystander (witness) to cyberbullying behaviour, you are in a unique position to help or hinder the incident. Take a stand against the cyberbullying by informing the bully that their behaviour is unacceptable. You can also make a difference by reporting their behaviour to the appropriate authorities. Remember to:

  1. Assess the severity of the incident and act accordingly (this may require confronting the bully or bullies)

  2. Be careful with your actions: liking or commenting can hurt others

  3. Consider how you can provide support and helpful advice for all parties to disengage​ from disrespectful online behaviour

How to respond: read our Charter


Prevent Cyberbullying's evidence-based Online Rights and Responsibilities Charter can help you understand the expectations for online behaviour in Higher Education. When people agree on these rights and responsibilities, they are much more likely to abide by respectful online behaviour.

Who can help you?


Did you know that cyberbullying often violates the terms of service established by social media and internet service providers? According to the terms and conditions of these sites (and their global location), you can report cyberbullying to the social media or the internet service provider so they can take action. You might also be able to seek legal advice according to your country's legal system. In the link below you will find a fact sheet that explains how some laws in Australia protect people from online misconduct.

How to stay eSafe (cybersafe)


Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert to stay safe online. In the links below you can find some ways to protect yourself from cybercrime and common threats.


Your digital health


Learning how to balance our screentime is one of the great challenges of the digital age. In addition, learning how to use our online time wisely is an important skill we must develop and continue to exercise. Evaluating technology tools for work, rest and play can be handy. Posture, repetition and overuse are some common risk factors that we need to keep in mind when we use technology. Here are some tips that might improve your digital health:


  • Keep set times or events “media free”
    (for example, dinner time)

  • Balance your screen time with alternatives (for example, sports, reading, or cooking).

  • Avoid technology in the bedroom and refrain from using any screens during the last hour before you go to bed

  • Spend 15 minutes online, 1-2 minutes offline

How to maintain a positive
digital reputation

In today’s world, part of students’ reputations can be compromised by what they write and do online. It is important to keep your long-term reputation in mind and avoid behaviour that includes trash talking, bullying, boasting misdeeds or sharing questionable photos. This type of behaviour can impact the opinion of employers who use social media as part of a background check when screening potential employees.



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© 2018 Prevent Cyberbullying.