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The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA)  Get Cyberstarted has produced 16 articles specifically for school newsletters. I will post each one day and tag them as Cybersmart. Get Cyberstarted features some excellent online professional learning for educators including Connect.ed which was developed in 2010. It still has relevance and can be further complemented by including more current resources and information.

Cyberbullying – supporting your child online

Childhood bullying used to be face-to-face physical and verbal behaviour in the playground, classroom and on the way to and from school. Now online technology and constant connectivity has allowed bullying to harm children through often anonymous contact or actions. Cyberbullying can happen at any time and leave a child feeling unsafe and alone.

Cyberbullying most commonly occurs through:

  • Comments posted in an open online environment such as Facebook.
  • Direct text, email or instant messages online or on a mobile phone.

Children can manage cyberbullying with your support by taking the following action:

  • Blocking the person cyberbullying and changing privacy settings. Retaliating or responding to the bully only gives them the attention and power they want.
  • Reporting the bullying. Most websites have online help centres and reporting facilities, and online abuse is in violation of the Terms Of Use of most social networking sites.
  • Collecting the evidence. Keeping mobile phone messages and printing emails or IM conversations.
  • Talking to someone they trust like parents or a teacher.
  • Visiting the Cybersmart Online Helpline ( to chat with an experienced counsellor or calling the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Resources from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development



Cyberbullying occurs when technology is used to deliberately and repeatedly engage in hostile behaviour to harm someone. Groups and individuals can be both the perpetrators and targets of bullying.

Instant messaging (IM)

Instant messaging is sending real-time messages from one computer to another by means of small ‘pop-up’ windows. They are a form of ‘instant email’ and are very popular with students and adults alike. They are usually a one-to-one communication medium, although some programs allow many people to chat at the same time, like a private chat room.

A full cybersafety glossary may be found at