Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is bullying through the use of technology (i.e. cell phone, instant messaging, chat rooms, websites, e-mail, digital messaging, etc.) It is different from traditional bullying because it can occur 24/7, invades the home or personal space of someone, the audience can be very large and reached quickly, and people who cyber bully may attempt to remain anonymous.

Some examples of cyber bullying are:

Flaming - Online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language

Harassment - Repeatedly sending nasty, mean, and insulting messages

Denigration - Sending or posting gossip or rumors about a person to damage his/her reputation or friendships

Impersonation - Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material to get that person in trouble or in danger; or to damage that person's reputation or friendships

Outing - Sharing someone's secrets or embarrassing information or images online

Trickery - Talking someone into revealing secrets from an online group

Exclusion - Intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from an online group

Cyberstalking - Repeated, intense harassment and denigration that includes threats or creates significant fear

Virginia Department of Education, 2008

Warning Signs

- Depression

- Subtle changes in behavior may indicate potential problems that should be discussed

- Isolation could indicate a more severe stage of emotional crisis


What do you do if your child is being cyber bullied?