If anything bad happens online, we need to report it or talk about it.
Most of the time the messages, posts, tweets and images we send and receive on our phones, tablets and other devices let us share fun stuff. But sometimes bad things can happen online: like cyber-bullying, identity fraud, or inappropriate communication.
Cyber-bullying is when someone uses technology like shared texts, emails, online posts, images, messages or videos to embarrass, threaten or harm another. It can range from spreading rumours to encouraging violence (see our separate sheet on cyber-bullying).
Identity fraud is when someone pretends to be us by using our login/password details – maybe to post nasty messages, perhaps to spend our money. It generally happens without our permission or knowledge.
Inappropriate communication is anything from someone sending violent or sexual messages or posts that upset us to blackmail and stalking (= unwanted attention). It could be a suggestion that we meet up and do something with them in real life, perhaps something that doesn’t feel right or safe.
If we’ve received a nasty call, been sent an upsetting message or image, or seen one on another person’s device, there are some practical things we (or our caregivers) can do:
Women and Children’s Health Network, 16 October 2017. “Mobile Phones are Great … Aren’t They?”. Retrieved from: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetailsKids.aspx?p=335&np=288&id=2701 15 November 2017.
Netsafe, 29 October 2017. “Help with Online Harassment, Bullying and Abuse”. Retrieved from: https://www.netsafe.org.nz/hdc/ 15 November 2017.
Sticks ‘n Stones, n.d. “Dealing with Bullying”. http://www.sticksnstones.co.nz/youth/dealing-with-bullying/ 1 November 2017.
Office of the eSafety Commisioner https://www.esafety.gov.au/complaints-and-reporting/cyberbullying-complaints/social-media-services-safety-centres
Sticks ‘n Stones http://www.sticksnstones.co.nz/our-project/
What’s Up? http://www.whatsup.co.nz/
Life Education Trust Fact Sheet 'What can I do if I am bullied online?'