Do not respond to abusive messages or threats. It could make things worse and you might be accused of cyberbullying. Internet trolls want a reaction from you – why give them what they want?
Don’t try and deal with this alone – talk to somebody you trust such as your parents, a friend, a family member or a teacher about it. New perspectives can help you to find new solutions.
Record and store any abusive posts, emails or messages. Some types of cyberbullying, harassment and online abuse constitute a criminal offense, and you might need to demonstrate ‘ongoing harassment’ for legal action to be successful at a later date. For help with how to store evidence, visit our technical advice section.
You can stop someone from sending you abusive messages and posting nasty comments on most major platforms by blocking and reporting them to the site administrator. Visit our social media guide to learn more about the reporting procedure for each individual social media platform.
Never share your passwords with anybody, even your friends! If you do, you could lose control of your own accounts, and have trouble regaining control of them. People can then share your personal information publicly. Treat your passwords like your toothbrush – change them frequently and don’t share them with anybody!
If anyone you don’t know tries to arrange to meet you, tell your parents or somebody you trust immediately. Never meet anybody you don’t know and don’t share personal information with them such as real names, addresses, emails or phone numbers.
Most online problems start with a misunderstanding, so think about what you really want to say before you start to write. Everybody that uses the internet should have a basic understanding of netiquette.
Avoid becoming involved in cyberbullying campaigns. Don’t pass on or promote an abusive or rude comment, message or picture just because “everyone else is doing it.” Stop and think about how that person feels. If you feel you can do it safely, reach out to the victim and point them towards our Global Support Service.
If you see someone is being cyberbullied don’t just stand by and let them suffer. Report it to the platform you are using, your parents or a teacher at your school. You can learn more about reporting abusive content online in our social media guide.