Cyberbullying and online harassment can be extremely distressing. It can be classed as a criminal offence but there is lots of help available to support you.
Tips to stay safe online
Think before you post - when posting or commenting on the internet, consider what you say and what effect this may have. Never post comments that are abusive or may cause distress to others.
Keep personal information personal - avoid saying things or publishing pictures that might later cause you or someone else embarrassment. Be aware of what friends post about you, or how they reply to your posts, particularly about your personal details and activities.
Make the most of privacy settings - keep your profiles closed, allowing access only to your chosen friends and family.
Report cyberbullying to internet service providers - lots of content on social media that is offensive or upsetting is not necessarily a criminal offence. However, cyberbullying often violates the terms and conditions established by social media sites and internet service providers. Report cyberbullying to the social media site so they can take action against users abusing the terms of service.
Social media help sections can show you how to block users and change settings to control who can contact you. You can get advice and support on using the following social media sites, including the ability to report content to them.
· Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/help/
· X (Twitter) - https://support.twitter.com/
· Instagram - https://help.instagram.com/
· LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin
· Google+ - https://support.google.com/plus#topic=6320382
· Pintrest - https://help.pinterest.com/en
· Tumblr - https://www.tumblr.com/abuse
· Snapchat - https://support.snapchat.com/en-GB
If you believe that you are the victim of an offence, always keep a record of the content by taking a screenshot, for example. If you are worried that your child or a loved one might be the victim of cyberbullying here are some signs to look out for:
· Low self-esteem
· Withdrawal from family and spending a lot of time alone
· Reluctance to let parents or other family members anywhere near their mobiles, laptops etc
· Finding excuses to stay away from school or work
For further signs and advice visit bullying.co.uk
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