Mobile devices are a great way to stay in touch with friends and know what’s going on. They enable you to text, web browse, email, video, chat, social network and play games.

However, bullies can abuse and misuse mobiles to cyberbully others. Cyberbullying is totally unacceptable. It can also be illegal.
Cyberbullying can be distressing for you, your family and friends. It involves behaviours such as: calling others names, spreading rumours, pretending to be someone else (also called identity theft) and saying nasty and hurtful things. It can also involve threats and intimidation.
Don’t get involved in cyberbullying. Some people think they can get away with doing and saying things on their mobiles in the digital world that they would not do face-to-face. You are not anonymous. Your comments on blogs and social networks, pictures sent by text and video uploads all leave a digital footprint. Just as it's important to be a good citizen in real life, it's also important to be a good digital citizen and you may want to read the ACMA's Digital Citizens Guide.
If you are a victim of cyberbullying it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault, you are not alone and there is something you can do about it. Don’t face it alone – you need to talk to someone you can trust.
1.       Protect yourself
  • Only give your phone number and other usernames/profile details (e.g. for Instragram, Kik or iMessage) to trusted friends and don’t give someone else’s contact details without their permission.
  • Only connect on social media with people you actually know in real life.
  • If you don't want someone else to know you phone number you can use caller ID blocking to hide your number when you call them.
  • Keep your PINs and passwords secret. Your mobile holds a lot of private information. Protect it by using the security PIN for the handset, SIM and voice messages (See Lost & Stolen Tips).
  • Use privacy settings offered by social networks - the eSafety Homepage has specific info for most popular games, apps and social media platforms here.
  • Think before you send a text message, post a photo or make a call. Don’t send anything that you would not want your parents or teachers to see. Don’t forward offensive material you receive about someone else because that could make you a cyberbully.
  • 'Sexting' (sharing  sexual images e.g. photos or videos of yourself or others naked via text messages or social media) is stupid. You’re vulnerable if it falls into the wrong hands. Also, it could be child pornography if the images are of anyone under 18 and the police might have to get involved.
 
2.       What to do if you receive unwanted messages or calls
  • Ignore the cyberbully. Don’t respond. Stay calm. They want to upset you and if they get no response they may get bored and go away.
  • Save the offensive texts, posts, emails or voice messages - take a screenshot of them. The time, date and offensive content can be used to investigate the cyberbully and take action to ensure they don’t do it again.
  •  You can also unfriend/block the cyberbully, or change your privacy settings to ensure they don’t have access to your account or information you put online.
  • Your mobile servcie provider can help you deal with unwanted or nuisance phone calls - call them to report such calls.
 
3.       You are not alone. Get help from a trusted adult, such as a parent or teacher. For more help on how to deal with or report cyberbullying go to the eSafety Homepage.
 
 You can also contact the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 - they are available 24/7.

 

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