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Teen cyber-bullying information offered

Updated September 29, 2010

Parents are encouraged to share the following information with their teens to stay cyber-safe.

On-line bullying, called cyber-bullying, happens when teens use the Internet, cell phones or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. According to the 2006 Harris Interactive Cyber-bullying Research Report, cyber-bullying is a problem that affects almost half of American teenagers. Whether you've been a victim of cyber-bullying, know someone who has been cyber-bullied, or have even cyber-bullied yourself, there are steps you and your friends can take to stop cyber-bullying and stay cyber-safe.

Ways teens are cyber-bullied
Ways that people can cyber-bully include the following:

  • Pretending they are other people on-line to trick others
  • Spreading lies and rumors about victims
  • Tricking people into revealing personal information
  • Sending or forwarding mean text messages
  • Posting pictures of victims without their consent

When teens were asked why they think others cyber-bully, 81 percent said that cyber-bullies think it's funny. Other teens believe that youth who cyber-bully don't think it's a big deal; don't think about the consequences; are encouraged by friends; think everybody cyber-bullies; and/or think they won't get caught. Although cyber-bullies may think they are anonymous, they can be found. If you are cyber-bullied or harassed and need help, save all communication with the cyber-bully and talk to a parent, teacher, law enforcement officer or other adult you trust.

Ways to prevent cyber-bullying
Prevent cyber-bullying by utilizing the following tactics:

  • Refuse to pass along cyber-bullying messages
  • Tell friends to stop cyber-bullying
  • Block communication with cyber-bullies
  • Report cyber-bullying to a trusted adult
  • Speak with other students, as well as teachers and school administrators, to develop rules against cyber-bullying.

Additional ways to stay cyber-safe
Remember that the Internet is accessed by millions of people all over the world, not just your friends and family. Stay cyber-safe with the following tips:

  • Never post or share your personal information on-line (this includes your full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents' names, credit card number or Social Security number) or your friends' personal information.
  • Never share your Internet passwords with anyone, except your parents.
  • Never meet anyone face-to-face if you only know the person on-line.
  • Talk to your parents about what you do on-line.

For additional cyber-bullying information, visit the The National Crime Prevention Council's website at

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