What Does Cyberbullying Mean?

Cyberbullying is a practice where an individual or group uses the Internet to ridicule, harass or harm another person. The social and emotional harm inflicted by cyberbullies grows out of – or leads to – physical bullying in the offline world.


Cyberbullying is a prosecutable offense in some jurisdictions, but a globally uniform legal approach has not yet been established.

Techopedia Explains Cyberbullying

Cyberbullies use social media and smartphones to harass victims from remote or local areas. Traditional bullying usually stops when a victim returns to the safety of his home, but cyberbullying is a continuous process maintained through email, texting, forum/blog posts and other communication vehicles. Even if cyberbullying victims change profile settings and avoid certain websites, cyberbullies may easily continue public bullying activities.

The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) offers the following recommendations for victims of cyberbullying:

  • Block cyberbullies on all social media sites.
  • Report cyberbullies to website administrators.
  • Avoid sharing personal details online.
  • If you are a minor, speak to a trusted adult about cyberbullying.

The NCPC also encourages those who are not victims to become anti-bullying advocates by refusing to participate in cyberbullying campaigns, flagging cyberbullies and raising cyberbullying awareness.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.