How to look after yourself if you are cyberbullied
It can be hurtful when people are mean or spread lies about you online – but there are things you can do to feel better.
The most important thing to remember is that it is not your fault. You are not alone and there is help available.
On this page:
How to report cyberbullying
Report the harmful content to the service or platform used to send, post or share it. This is often the fastest way to have the content removed. You can find reporting links for many services and platforms, including social media, online games and other apps, in The eSafety Guide.
If the content is seriously harmful and the service or platform does not help, you can report it to eSafety and we will help to have it removed.
How cyberbullying can affect your wellbeing
Cyberbullying can have a big impact on your mental health and wellbeing. You might feel upset, overwhelmed, embarrassed, scared or even angry – like everyone is picking on you. These feelings may last for a short time or a long time.
It's important to remember that all these feelings are normal and other people who are cyberbullied feel them too.
Get help and support
Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to do when you are cyberbullied, but you don’t have to cope with it on your own. It can help to talk with someone else about what’s happened.
Tell someone you trust
Before you do anything, you should tell a trusted adult, teacher or friend who is not involved. Even though it can be hard, talking about it can make a big difference to the outcome. You can get a fresh point of view and work out what to do together.
Try to stay connected with your trusted person while you get more information and deal with the situation. You might also ask them to help you follow the steps to report cyberbullying.
Contact a counselling and support service
If, like lots of people, you feel you don’t have anyone close you can talk to about cyberbullying – or you want expert help – there are counselling and support services available.
You can also get help and support from one of these counselling services
Confidential, culturally safe crisis support line for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Available all day, every day.
Confidential counselling, support and information for people affected by sexual abuse or domestic and family violence. Available 24/7.
All ages. Counselling and referral for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and/or intersex. Phone counselling and online chat available every day from 3pm to 12am.
5 to 25 year olds. All issues. Confidential phone counselling available all day, every day. Online chat available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Tips for taking care of yourself online and offline
Stay socially connected
You might not feel like talking to other people when you’re feeling down or worried, but it’s important to keep joining in with others, online and offline, so you don’t start to feel lonely and left out.
Reclaim your space online
Getting back online after a bad experience can be overwhelming at first, but remember, you have every right to be there, and there are ways to make it easier.
It might help to only chat online with close friends and family at first. You can change your device or account settings so only a small group of people can contact you.
You can also ask a trusted friend to check in on you while you’re online, until you get your confidence back. You might even like to play a game or scroll your favourite posts together.
It can be hard to stay positive when you’re feeling hurt and upset, but the way you handle a tough situation can make a big difference to the outcome.
You can set a good example for online behaviour by showing you care about other people. If it’s safe to do so, don’t be afraid to respond to negative comments with positive ones.
Create a safe space offline
Spending lots of time online can affect your mood or make you feel like you’re missing out on other things. That’s why it’s good to log off for a while, even for a few hours each day.
You can also try setting aside an internet-free zone in your home. For example, you can keep your phone and other devices out of your bedroom, especially at night, or switch off your devices or notifications at certain times of the day, such as when you’re studying.
Explore more information
You can find more advice about how to prevent and deal with online abuse, tailored to your situation.
- Young people have told eSafety their stories about how they have experienced and dealt with cyberbullying. It may be helpful to read these real stories and know you’re not alone in what you’re going through.
- Our Kids pages explore what to do in different cyberbullying scenarios:
- There are also tailored tips for young people about cyberbullying:
- Our Cyberbullying section has a page for educators and schools, including resources such as a cyberbullying factsheet and scenarios to use in the classroom.
- There is also advice for family and friends in the Cyberbullying section on how to support young people, with more information in our Parents section on what to do if your child is being cyberbullied.
- Our Adult cyber abuse section explains what to do if someone has used the internet to send, post or share content that is harmful to the physical or mental health of someone who is 18 or older.
- There are tailored tips for women about how to stay safe online. Women In The Spotlight includes information about how to manage the impacts for women who experience online abuse as part of their work.
- There is specialist advice for First Nations people, LGBTIQ+ people and people living with disability.
- We also have online safety advice translated into languages other than English.
Last updated: 31/07/2023