What is Cyber bullying?

Cyberbullying is generally defined as sending or posting harmful or cruel messages or images using the internet or other digital communication device.

Examples may include…

  • Sending cruel, vicious and sometimes threatening messages.
  • Creating web site that have stories, cartoons, pictures of classmates online with intent to embarrass them.
  • Breaking into an email account and sending vicious or embarrassing material to others.
  • Engaging someone in instant messaging, tricking that person into revealing sensitive personal information, and forwarding that information to others.
  • Taking a picture of a person using a digital phone camera and sending that picture to others without consent.

Cyber-bullying is breaking the law

  • Unauthorized access (hacking)
  • Mischief to data (damage files, photos)
  • Impersonation (setting up a fake account)
  • Threatening (bodily harm or death)
  • Criminal harassment (repeated messages)

Cyber Bullying Tips

  • Do not respond to/engage in the abuse.
  • Talk to someone about it. Ignoring the problem leads to escalation.
  • Inform your Internet Service Provider or cell phone service provider.
  • Inform the Hamilton Police Service.
  • Keep records/print off messages if possible. The Police and your ISP and/or phone company can use these messages to help you.
  • If necessary, get a new number, account, give it out to one person at a time and keep a diary to record any abuse. Your tormentor may be closer than you think.
  • Take a break – Unplug!

Protect Yourself

If you have an unsolicited harassing email message from a cyber bully, you can often use your mouse to right click on the header of the offending message and choose the “options” section of the menu. This will often reveal greater details about the message. You can then look at the root-domain of the sender.  You can then go to do a “WHOIS” search with a domain name registration company. If the last two letters of the cyber bully’s email address end in “.ca” this means it is a Canadian domain name and was registered in Canada. If the last letters are something other than “.ca” such as “.com,  .org, .net,” you can do a “WHOIS” search internationally with Internic.com. This web site has been established to provide the public information regarding internet domain name registration services and is update frequently. The “WHOIS” search will often provide information as to who owns the domain name and there contact information. 

Cyber Bullying Tip Sheet (405 KB)

Internet Safety_Tips for Teens (180 KB)