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What to do if you are cyber bullied If your child is being cyberbullied, (or if you are the youth being cyber bullied), there are a few important steps you should take:

Tips for those who are being cyberbullied

Cyberbully tip #1: DO NOT RESPOND to a cyberbully. Not only might you escalate the situation in your response to them, but your response only serves to let them know their actions are having an effect, which might encourage them to do even more. So whether it’s a nasty email or them trying to goat you about something that was posted online, don’t give them validation for their evil deeds.

Cyberbully tip #2: If it happens in an IM or chat room, don’t stick around. There’s no reason you have to stay there and put up with such abuse. Log off. The bullies are doing what they’re doing to get a reaction from you. If you’re not around, there’s less incentive for them to continue. Of course, they can still talk behind your back, but they can always do that regardless. In fact, they might have another private chat window open and be doing it at the same time they’re being mean to you. So there’s nothing to lose by stepping back from the computer for a while.

Cyberbully tip #3: Do not delete the messages. You may need them to either report the incident to site administrators, or, if it is serious enough, to report it to the police.

Cyberbully tip #4: Stop opening or reading any future messages you receive from that person. Hand them over to your parents or a third party to read or hold onto. The bully is trying to drive you crazy – you don’t need to let them succeed by wasting time reading what they have to say.

Cyberbully tip #5: Talk to a trusted adult. It doesn’t have to be your parents . . . any older person you trust is fine. If it is school related or involves or alludes to bullying that takes place at school, then let your parents or the school know. Although schools cannot address Internet bullying that takes place outside the school setting, documented cases of cyberspace bullying CAN be used as evidence that there are problems that exist inside the school as well, especially if the bullies write about incidents that took place on school grounds. You can talk with someone in authority about keeping your name out of the reporting aspect if you’d like. When it comes to stuff posted on the Internet for others to see, it’s easy to insinuate that someone other than the victim reported it. If it involves threats of physical harm, save the messages and consider contacting the police.

Cyberbully tip #6: Follow the advice in our How to stop Cyberbullies and Fighting Internet Bullies sections, which list different ideas about how you can address the problem.

Responding to cyberbullying: Tips for parents

Internet bullying parent tip #1: As a parent, DO NOT banish the victim from websites, computers, cellphones, or other technology. This is like punishing them twice. Blame the bullies, not the technology or the victim, for what is occurring.

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