How can women be safe online from cyberbullying?

Natalie (not her real name) is a young woman who was innocently sharing photos from her various going-outs on her social media pages. Before long, there were negative comments left on her posts, followed by threats and sexually inclined comments. Natalie found this to be very disturbing and eventually closed down her social media accounts. Online trolls had succeeded in bullying yet another woman into submission with their relentless online bullying.

Women are increasingly facing cyberbullying as a result of who they are – Social media platforms are easy grounds for anonymous or known trolls to target innocent victims, robbing them of peace of mind, and causing anxiety and depression.

How can we stay safe as women and avoid or deal with cyberbullying?


Understand cyber bullying

The word defines the process of harassing, threatening and or insulting someone continuously.

It can also mean spreading rumours, sharing private contact information or putting down someone with whom no personal grudge is formed.

Often, those who engage in cyber bullying are themselves victims of circumstances or in general unhappy with their lives.


Recognize the signs –

  • Be watchful of the pattern of behaviour. It might start with innocent enough messages but there will be a pattern towards threats, insults and in general offensive wording.
  • Do not take whatever that is said as personal – these are uttered by people who don’t know you so it should not matter. Do not allow yourself to be affected by such comments.

Stay safe online and do not share personal information –

Never share phone numbers, private photos etc with any accounts at all. Adjust your privacy settings on social media to make sure not everyone has access to your information.

Responding to cyberbullying –

  • Do not engage with the bullies – you are feeding them more information and more opportunity to get back at you. Delete and block if possible. You can also report if the comments are threatening.
  • Keep screenshots and other evidence if you need to escalate the case.

Keep in mind that bullies themselves need help –

Trolls are often those whose sole objective in life seems to be to harass others. Be mindful of this, and do not engage in any conversations. They need sympathy and compassion, so projecting such emotions toward them is good for your mental health and helps you see them for who they truly are.


Seek Support if you feel overwhelmed –

You can always talk to someone if you feel overwhelmed and stressed. While it may not last, sometimes trolls can really get to you and be a disturbance,, so take care not to compromise your mental health.

Stay updated and  create awareness –

If you have been a victim, you can share with others who may not be able to handle it on their own. Stay updated on how bullying can be handled and share with others. Changing awareness patterns and keeping the community updated are vital to dealing with cyberbullying.

Resources – “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander” by Barbara Coloroso.


Be careful with technology

  • Stay safe online with the right software protocols and make sure your devices and accounts are safe.
  • Be careful how you engage with social media platforms and stay safe.


Books:Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders, and Victims” by Sheri Bauman and “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander” by Barbara Coloroso.

Websites: offers resources and advice on dealing with cyberbullying.

Apps: Apps like ReThink can help detect and prevent cyberbullying by prompting users to reconsider before posting harmful content.


Empowering yourself with knowledge and strategies can help you navigate the digital world safely. By following these steps and supporting each other, we can create a safer online environment for women everywhere. Stay strong and stay safe!

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