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Cyber-bullying is repeatedly hurting someone else through the use of technology. So, instead of whispering a rumor to a friend, a bully might email or instant message that rumor or post it on the internet for everyone to see! Or the bully might use technology to ignore you. An example of this would be a friend all of a sudden ignoring your emails or instant messages.

Ways people bully with technology :

  • blogs
  • instant messaging/IM-ing
  • email
  • chat rooms
  • text messaging/texting

girls surfing the internetMany teens today, especially girls, use technology to bully others. In fact, one study found that twice as many girls as boys had bullied someone online.

Here are some tips that may help protect you from cyber-bullying:

  • Don’t give out personal information online, whether in instant message profiles, chat rooms, blogs, or on web sites.
  • Don’t tell anyone your email or instant messaging passwords, even your friends.
  • If someone sends a mean or threatening message, don't respond. Save it and show it to a trusted adult.
  • Don’t be a cyberbully, because you just may find yourself on the other end of the cyber-bullying down the road.


Content last reviewed July 24, 2013
Page last updated October 31, 2013

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.