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Netiquette & Cyber Bullying

What is Cyber Bullying?

Netiquette, or internet etiquette, refers to good social behaviours when using the internet. It includes respecting people’s privacy online and not doing or saying anything that may bring harm or annoyance to other internet users.

Cyber bullying is an example of bad netiquette. Cyber bullying is defined as "causing deliberate/intentional harm to others using the internet or other digital technologies" 1.

A survey conducted by TOUCH Cyber Wellness reported that one in three secondary school students has been a victim of cyber bullying in the past year. Similarly, one in five primary school children reported being cyber bullied. The survey polled 3,000 secondary school students and 1,900 primary school children and the data was collected from May 2013 to May 2014 2.


Signs and Symptoms of Cyber Bullying 3:

A child may be a VICTIM of cyber bullying if he or she:

  1. Unexpectedly stops using the computer
  2. Appears nervous or jumpy when an instant message, text message, or email appears
  3. Appears uneasy about going to school or outside in general
  4. Appears to be angry, depressed, or frustrated after using the computer
  5. Avoids discussions about what they are doing on the computer
  6. Becomes abnormally withdrawn from usual friends and family members

A child may be CYBER BULLYING others if he or she:

  1. Quickly switches screens or closes programs when you walk by
  2. Uses the computer at all hours of the night
  3. Gets unusually upset if he/she cannot use the computer
  4. Laughs excessively while using the computer
  5. Avoids discussions about what they are doing on the computer
  6. Uses multiple online accounts or using an account that is not their own

Tips for Parents

  1. Educate your child on how to respond in the right way when being cyber bullied:
    • a.Stop speaking to the bully and do not retaliate
    • b.Save the evidence
    • c.Report to parents, teachers or school counsellors
  2. Actions to take if you feel that your child is in danger or is fearful:
    • a.Alert the content provider or website administrator to do a thorough investigation (provide evidence if available)
    • b.Work with school authority if the cyber bully is suspected to be from the school
    • c.Report to the police if the cyber bullying involves criminal intimidation, insulting the modesty of a woman or racial slurs
  3. Discuss with your child how they should also be respectful of other users on the internet.
  4. Educate your child not to be a bystander if he/she knows of a fellow classmate or friend who is being cyber bullied. Offer help to the victim. Approach a trusted adult (parents/teachers) for advice.



  1. Dilmaç, B. & Aydoğan, D. (2010, July). Values as a Predictor of Cyber-bullying Among Secondary School Students. International Journal of Social Sciences, 5(3), p.185.
  2. Tai, J. (2014, July 14). 1 in 4 secondary students ‘admits to cyber bullying’. The Straits Times.
  3. Cyberbullying Research Center. (2015, March). Cyberbullying Warning Signs.


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