How to Deal With Cyber Bullying As a Child or Teen

"Cyber bullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It's incredibly distressing and hurtful, not to mention hard to deal with. For help on dealing with cyber bullying, read on.


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    Save every message, tweet, email, etc. Anything that shows proof of them cyber bullying. If it is an email, you can go on the computer and print it out, instead of simply saving it onto your phone. Cyber bullying is somewhat easier for a bully to perform, since they don't have to do anything when the victim is right there in front of them. But you're smarter than that. You may just want to click "delete" on every hateful email, text, or IM. However, this is not the right way to go. Because there may come a time, when this bully needs to be reported- and you'll need all the evidence right there in front of you. Save and print each and every mean thing they send. Bookmark or "favorite" the webpages they insult you on. The day will come when you'll need this untenable evidence to accuse them and stop them.
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    Never participate. If you receive a "bully" message, never get more involved than you need to. Replying to that hurtful comment will only worsen the problem- what you say on the internet, STAYS there, no matter what you do; and anger, sadness, or any other emotion that can cause you to do this you'll regret. Keep yourself cool. Remember that It's okay to be upset, but responding to the bully just as they responded to you will fix nothing other than add more fuel to the fire.
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    Identify the person who is doing it. Emails, screen names and images of themselves can be deceiving, and can temporarily disguise a bully. However, there are ways of figuring out the guilty party. First, write down the email or screen name you've received this from. Check your inbox- have you ever received ANYTHING from this person before? This may clue you in. If not, simply go to the email provider (after the @ part of the email) website, and search the screen name you have. If the profile is not blocked, you should be able to view this person's name. When all else fails, get others involved. Let your parents, a teacher, or another adult you trust know about the situation. Most likely, they can track the IP address, and get the exact location of the attacker.
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    Approach them in person. A cyber bully is nothing when not behind their internet mask. Talking to them about it upfront might even scare them away. If this person seems to not be intimidated, or issues more violent or humiliating threats, contact an adult to intervene.
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    If the case is severe, press charges. Bullying of any kind is illegal in most states. After letting a parent into the situation, allow them to contact the bully's parents (if the school has not already done this). If you've suffered severely from this, or experienced humiliation or violent threats/acts, this girl/boy can be suspended, expelled, or even arrested, depending on how severe they have acted towards you.


  • If it gets really out of hand, let some kind of authority know. Sometimes it's better to let someone step in and put a stop to it.
  • To prevent cyber bullying from happening to you... NEVER give out any of your passwords (for email, blog, or even AIM accounts) to ANYONE, even the best friend you've known since kindergarten. This is for your safety and well being!
  • Knowing what causes a bully to act the way they do might help you to have compassion on them rather than get angry at them.
  • If a user crosses the line, you don't need to respond. In most cases, ignoring cyber bullying is the best way to go. They only continue when they know they can affect you and get a response from you. If you ignore them, then the game is over for them, and hopefully they will move on.
  • Understand that a bully becomes a bully because they were once bullied themselves. It is displaced anger from things they have gone through. They can't get back at the person who hurt them, if it was a parent etc, so they expel their anger on you instead. It is like the kicking the dog syndrome in psychology. At work a man's boss may pick on him so he blows up at his wife, and so his wife blows up at the kid, and so the kid kicks the dog. Make sense? Don't let someone make you the dog.
  • Only give out your email, IM, blog, or any other screen name to people you absolutely, positively trust, AND actually know in person.


  • Remember, as with any type of bullying and abuse, this is not your fault and you don't need to take it alone. It will help you, and possibly others, to report the cyber-bullying.

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Categories: Keeping Safe Online