Preventing cyberbullying

Be aware of what cyberbullying is, and how it can happen:

  • agree on family rules and procedures about what to do if someone is being cyberbullied, such as saving the message or text as evidence and telling a trusted adult
  • with your children, explore the online technologies and websites they like to use
  • become your child's 'friend' on Facebook or MSN. Have your child show you, or learn together, how to block someone on a chat service like MSN, or how to report abuse to a website or service provider
  • encourage positive use of technology by helping your child to use it to support learning, socialise with peers, and explore the wider world
  • discuss and promote netiquette - responsible online behaviour, and reward your child for this. Tell them this means they should respect others online, treat them how they would want to be treated, only post or write things online and in text messages that they would be happy for anyone to see
  • encourage your child to use appropriate language when chatting or playing games online. Pay close attention to a website's terms and conditions and make sure your child is old enough to be using a site or online service
  • support your child in making responsible decisions online and when using a mobile phone, make sure they are aware of the types of photos and other content that are appropriate to post online (for example, no photos in a school blazer or school uniform)
  • be aware that as well as being at risk, your child could also be involved in cyberbullying. Be alert to changes in your child's behaviour, especially after being online or using their phone
  • discuss the emotional impact of bullying on another person
  • encourage your children to keep passwords safe. Treat your password like your toothbrush - do not share it with anyone!