Cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like mobile phones, computers, and tablets. Cyber-bullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyber-bullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyber-bullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behaviour.
The most common places where cyber-bullying occurs are:
- Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
- SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices
- Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
How to stay safe online
The internet is great fun but it does have dangers and all at NWCS want you to be safe online. When you join a chatroom you’ll find people are very friendly but the person you are talking to might not always be who they say they are. People can pretend to be your age and unfortunately there have been cases where adults have pretended to be teenagers and lured young people into meeting them in dangerous situations. Some of these cases have ended up in court in the UK.
Internet safety tips:
- Never give out your real name.
- Never tell anyone where you study, or work.
- Only meet someone from a chatroom in a public place with one of your parents or another adult. If they are genuinely who they say they are they will be happy to do this.
- Never give out your address or telephone number.
- Never agree to meet anyone from a chatroom on your own.
- Tell an adult if someone makes inappropriate suggestions to you or makes you feel uncomfortable online.
- If the person tries to insist on having your address or phone number.
- If the person emails you pictures which make you feel uncomfortable and which you would not want to show to anyone else.
- If the person wants to keep their chats with you secret.
- If the person wants you to email them pictures of yourself or use a webcam in a way which makes you feel uncomfortable.
- If the person shares information with you and tells you not to tell anyone else about it.
- If the person wants to meet you and tells you not to let anyone know.
If you find any of these danger signs it’s important that you act and report it (See CEOP below)
Social Media Apps and Sites Commonly Used by Teens
Digital media and apps allow you to communicate and express your creativity; connect with peers, and share feelings. However, they can be an avenue through which cyber-bullying occurs. There are many types of apps and sites available for free that give users the ability to search for people and share or post information about them anonymously. There are many ways that cyber-bullying can be hidden in apps and sites, such as texts, videos, and web calls that disappear or do not appear on the device’s call or text message logs.
Some current popular social media venues and apps include:
- Facebook and Facebook Live: The most commonly used social media site that is accessible on many different media platforms.
- Instagram: A photo and video sharing and networking site that connects users through other social networking sites (e.g., Facebook).
- Kik: Messaging app that allows users of all ages to contact others anonymously.
- Musical.ly: Users can post their own videos and view videos posted by others.
- Reddit: A site that stores social news, rates and evaluates web content, and discussion threads.
- Sarahah: An anonymous messaging app that allows users to send anonymous messages to people they may know.
- Snapchat: A photo messaging app that allows for sharing pictures and short videos that are intended to be erased shortly after delivery.
- Telegram: Messaging app that allows users to share photos, videos, and files; make calls, and delete texts or chats from recipient’s phone using a timer.
- Tumblr: A social networking site that allows posting of short blogs and media.
- Twitter: A microblogging site that allows users to send, read, and reply to “tweets” or short messages.
- Vine: An app that allows the posting of short 6-second looping videos.
- WeChat: An app that allows user to chat with friends, and to search for people nearby and around the globe.
- WhatsApp: A private messaging app that allows users to text, send photos, videos, and location information to their contacts.
- YouTube: A video sharing platform that allows users to post and share videos
Who can help?
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command – CEOP is here to keep people safe from sexual abuse and grooming online. They can give you advice, and you can make a report directly if something has happened online which has made you feel unsafe, scared or worried. This might be from someone you know in real life, or someone you have only ever met online. CEOP take all reports seriously and will do everything we can to keep you safe. As well as making a report the CEOP Thinkuknow website has information and advice to help you if something has happened to you online.