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Advice on cyberbullying and online harassment

Cyberbullying and online harassment can be extremely distressing. It can be classed as a criminal offence but there is lots of help available to support you.

Tips to stay safe online 

Think before you post - when posting or commenting on the internet, consider what you say and what effect this may have. Never post comments that are abusive or may cause offence to others. 

Keep personal information personal - do not say anything or publish pictures that might later cause you or someone else embarrassment. Be aware of what friends post about you, or reply to your posts, particularly about your personal details and activities.

Make the most of privacy settings - keep your profiles closed, allowing access only to your chosen friends and family. 

Report cyberbullying to internet service providers - lots of content on social media that is offensive or upsetting, is not necessarily a criminal offence. Cyberbullying often violates the terms and conditions established by social media sites and internet service providers. Report cyberbullying to the social media site so they can take action against users abusing the terms of service.

Social media help sections can show you how to block users and change settings to control who can contact you.

You can get advice and support on using the following social media sites including the ability to report content to them.

If you believe that you are the victim of an offence, always keep a record of the content, by taking a screenshot, for example.

  • Advice for parents and guardians

    The internet can be a valuable resource for children, allowing them to connect with friends and learn new things, but there are also risks when going online, and children can be particularly vulnerable.

  • Advice for schools

    Advice by the Department for Education preventing and tackling bullying for head teachers, staff and governing bodies can be viewed at:

  • What can the police do?

    If we consider a message or post to be potentially criminal, we will take appropriate action. This could involve arresting the person responsible or interviewing them under caution. Cases involving sustained abuse or where someone's life is threatened will be treated seriously.