PROTECTING YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE – tips for a safer, more positive experience online with Jo Drayton

“Cyber Bullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies/social media platforms to harm other people in a deliberate, repeated, and/or hostile manner.”  – Wikipedia

Cyber Abuse includes:

Sarcastic comments, insults (or ‘flaming’), strong opposing views and off-topic statements that deliberately derail conversation threads.

Experiencing online abuse can have a devastating impact on your wellbeing and sense of safety.

Adult cyber abuse is behaviour that uses technology to threaten, intimidate, harass or humiliate someone — with the intention of hurting them socially, psychologically or even physically.

It can take place on social media, through online chat and messaging services, text, messages, emails, on message boards and in online forums that allow people to publicly comment.


Cyberbullying/cyber abuse can take a significant toll on its victim by impacting their social life, their mental health, and their career.

Cyberbullying, like all forms of bullying, has been shown to be disruptive to an individuals’ mental health and can lead to depressive disorders.

Self- Esteem
Cyberbullying can take a massive toll on a victim’s self-esteem. In fact, 83 percent of cyberbullying victims felt that the bullying had detrimentally affected their self-esteem.

In a study run by Duke University (America), researchers found that people who were bullied were more likely to have an increased rate of an anxiety disorder and panic disorder/attacks. These studies concluded that experiencing bullying has a lasting impact on mental health outcomes.

The effects of cyberbullying can also sometimes be fatal. It was discovered in a recent study that 30 percent of bullying victims have suicidal thoughts and 10 percent of victims have attempted to take their own lives. While bullying alone may not cause suicide, it has been shown to increase feelings of isolation and loneliness in its victims and could contribute to an already stressful situation.

Try to remember that it is often not a personal attack
It is not your fault or often not a personal attack. No matter what a Cyber Abuser says or does – remember that they have the problematic behaviour and often un-informed opinions/perspectives, not you.

Try to view Cyber Abuser from a different perspective
The person is more than likely an unhappy, frustrated person who wants to exert a perceived feeling of control or power over you/your organisation. Responding can often make the situation worse and provoking a reaction from you is exactly what the Cyber Abusers want, so don’t give them the satisfaction.

Don’t give weight/value or reflect on the Cyber Abuse
Don’t allow it to sit/remain within your subconscious by dwelling on the cyber abuse or reading cyberbullying messages over and over.

Don’t seek revenge
Often by providing an emotive response to Cyber Abuse, you, by default, can inadvertently partake in Cyber Abuse. Again, it will only make the problem worse and could result in
legal consequences for you.

Save the evidence of the Cyber Abuse
Keep abusive text messages or a screenshot of your social media platform/s.  Your immediate reaction might be to make the abusive content disappear, but it is really important to keep evidence.

Report Online / Cyber Abuse