Cyberbullying protection 101: essential tips for protecting your peace

The MIND 24-7 Team | April 2, 2024

The internet is an exciting place where you can learn, play, and connect with friends worldwide. However, it’s also a place where cyberbullying can happen. Cyberbullying is when someone uses the internet to be mean, rude, or even threatening to someone else. Everyone needs to know how to stay safe from cyberbullying because it is a real threat to mental health, well-being, and safety. Let’s talk about how to protect yourself from cyberbullying and how to report cyberbullying.

Why is cyberbullying protection important?

Cyberbullying protection is important because cyberbullying can make people feel unsafe, sad, or lonely. If a person experiences a lot of cyberbullying, it can also affect how they think about themselves, leading to low self-esteem and a negative self-image. It can happen anywhere online—on social media, through emails, or in online games. Knowing what to do can help you keep you, your friends and loved ones feeling happy and safe when you’re exploring the digital world.

How to protect yourself from cyberbullying

There are several things you can do to keep yourself safe from cyberbullying.

  1. Keep your information to yourself.

One of the best ways to stay safe online is to keep your personal information private. This means not sharing where you live, your telephone number, or personal things about how you feel. It also means making sure that everything you share online is something you’d be okay with everyone seeing. If sensitive information gets into the wrong hands, it could be used against you. A step in the right direction is making sure your social media profiles are set to private so only people you know can see what you post.

  1. Keep your accounts safe.

Cyberbullies sometimes try to steal accounts. Having a strong password is like having a good lock on your door. Make sure your passwords are unique and hard to guess, change them regularly, and never share them, except with trusted family members if necessary.

  1. Don’t respond to bullying.

If someone says something hurtful or threatening to you or another person, it might feel like you should defend yourself or them. While standing up for what’s right is very important, with cyberbullying, it’s best to not engage with the person doing the bullying because this could make things worse.

  1. Block and report cyberbullying.

If you see cyberbullying online, the best thing is to block and report the bully. When you do block the bully, they won’t be able to contact you anymore. Reporting the bullying to the website or game where they’re being mean helps stop the bullying and keeps the internet fun for everyone.

How to report cyberbullying

If you are bullied online or you see someone bullying someone else, here’s what you can do:

  1. Save the evidence: If you are being bullied or you see bullying, keep evidence of it. This could be taking screenshots or saving emails. Having proof can help when you tell someone about the bullying.
  2. Tell someone you trust: It’s really important to talk to someone you trust if you’re being cyberbullied. Cyberbullying can make someone feel alone and ashamed, and it is important to know others are there to help. This could be a parent, teacher, coach, colleague, or counselor. Together, you can figure out what to do and how to stop the bullying.
  3. Tell the website, platform, or game: Most websites, games, and social media platforms have rules against bullying. You can report the account that is bullying you, and the people running the site can help stop it.
  4. When it’s really bad, tell the police: If the cyberbullying is really scary or if someone threatens you, it’s important to tell the police.


Seeking cyberbullying support resources

Remember, you’re never alone. Talking to friends, family, or a mental health provider about how you’re feeling can make a big difference. Here are some resources:

  • PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center
  • Crisis Text Line: text TALK to 741741.
  • The Trevor Project: text START to 678-678 or call 1-866-488-7386 or chat online. (Note: the Trevor Project serves LGBTQIA+ youth.)
  • MIND 24-7: MIND 24-7 offers walk-in treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns, including bullying. We are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays. All adults and youth are welcome — regardless of their ability to pay. We accept private insurance, Medicare, and AHCCCS, and will never turn someone away. If you or a loved one needs mental health care visit one of our convenient locations in the Phoenix area or text/call 1-844-MIND247.