Older News  » Online safety tips

Last updated 10:55 AM on 15 September 2011

These days kids are now just as likely to spend time on the internet as the beach.

Why is it so important to them? Watch this video to hear teens talk about how they use social media and what they think about cyberbullying.

With many kids about to spend more time online these holidays, Click- a technology guide for parents looks at the latest research and advice for parents about cyberbullying and how to keep kids safe online.

Printable facts sheets - Holiday tips for parents, teens and younger children

What to do about cyberbullying

The key isn't to take the technology away but to spend time reinforcing some basic rules of good cyber citizenship.

When you're writing:

  • Be friendly and polite to other people online - just as you would be face to face.
  • Be patient - if you are upset about something, wait ten minutes before you write a message. Remember, once you hit "send" it has gone into cyberspace forever!
  • Use emoticons to indicate you are joking, smiling - they can totally change how someone reads your message.
  • Keep your private details private. Never give your password or logon details to anyone.

If someone upsets you:

  • Don't jump to conclusions. Was it meant as a joke? Written messages are easily misinterpreted because we convey much of our meaning through facial expressions and our tone of voice.
  • Don't respond to bullies. If a bully is baiting you, the worst thing you can do is respond.
  • Block them. Unfriend them, remove them from your list of contacts or have your phone company block them from phoning/ texting you.
  • Give yourself some time out. Don't keep rereading upsetting messages.

If you're being bullied:

  • Try to have the abusive messages deleted. If you can't do that yourself, report the abuse and ask for it to be removed.
  • Tell your parents or an adult you trust if you or a friend receive hurtful messages, texts, emails etc.
  • Keep all harassing emails (and any replies you've made) as evidence. Save them, but don't reread them.

To help stop cyberbullies:

  • Be a supportive friend. If you see someone bully your friend in a chat room or on a Facebook wall, you can contact them privately and offer emotional support.
  • Don't forward hurtful messages, photos or videos. Don't help bullies hurt other kids.

For printable fact sheets on cyberbullying, articles, vodcasts, podcasts and blogs about using technology, read the free online magazine Click- a technology guide for parents