Types of cyberbullying1

Harassment - Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages.

Denigration - Distributing information about someone else that is derogatory and untrue by posting it on a webpage, sending it through email or instant messaging, or posting or sending digitally altered photos of someone.

Flaming - Online fighting using electronic messages with angry, vulgar language.

Impersonation - Breaking into an email or social networking account and using that person's online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to/about others.

Outing and Trickery - Sharing someone's secrets or embarrassing information, or tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information and forwarding it to others.

Cyber Stalking - Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating, or engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for his or her safety (depending on the content of the message, it may be illegal).

How can educators help protect kids from cyberbullying?

Before implementing prevention programs, schools need to assess the problem in their school by looking at gender and grade level trends, as well as the medium where most electronic aggression is occurring.

Develop clear policies that address on- and off-campus acts that could have a substantial disruption on student learning or safety.

Provide staff with training on preventing and responding to cyberbullying as well as encouraging positive digital citizenship.

Dedicate class time to the topic of cyberbullying and positive digital citizenship, beginning at a young age. Download a pdf handout for students on Cyber Safety: Strategies for Online and Cell Phone Safety.

Teach students about the safe use of social media, and how to monitor their online reputation.   

Train student mentors to address school social issues.

Partner with parents and community organizations to provide a consistent message about the responsible and ethical use of technology.

Become familiar with the cyber world yourself.

Further info:

Read about RespectED’s bullying prevention program, Beyond the Hurt

Access additional information and support for Aboriginal youth facing cyberbullying

1 Kowalski, Robin & Limber, Susan & Agatston, Patricia. (2008). Cyberbullying:  Bullying in the Digital Age. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 161–171.