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Asker

To Sam

im being cyber bullied


i have been hacked and when i log on im bullied by someone pretending to be me please help my parents have tried to help but whatever they did it didnt work and the cyber bullier loged in to my email and told me to kill myself please help and they have pretended to be me and asked a boy to have sex and it is really affecting me please help
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi,

Thank you for your letter. It’s really good that you’ve felt able to share your experiences with me.

You told me that you’ve been hacked online and I can hear how upsetting and scary that has been for you. I’m pleased to hear that you’ve told you parents and that they are trying to support you. Cyber bullying isn’t something you should have to deal with on your own.

It sounds like your parents have tried to help but this hasn’t changed anything yet. I imagine that is incredibly frustrating. There are a few things that you could do to protect yourself a bit more online. If you haven’t already changed your password for the hacked account, it’s really important to do that straight away. It’s also worth seriously considering closing the account down completely. If you use the same password for several different places online, you’ll need to change your password at all of those sites too. Try to use a different password for each account you have. I know it can be a real pain having to remember lots of different passwords, but it’s a good way of limiting the damage if anyone does manage to hack into one of your accounts.

You told me that the bully has been sending you messages telling you to kill yourself and sending messages pretending that they are you. Harassing or threatening someone else online like this is actually against the law, so you might want to talk to your parents about going to the police. Another plan would be to report the bully to the organisation that runs the account that has been hacked (e.g. MSN, Facebook, Hotmail etc). Many of these companies will take direct action if someone reports abuse. It can be really helpful to record the date and time and other details of all the messages you are sent, even though your first instinct might be to delete them. It is normal to feel like you want to defend yourself but it is helpful not to reply to the messages, as this often encourages a bully to keep sending more. These messages will give you really strong proof of what’s been happening if you do decide to report it.

You could also take a look at the Cyber bullying page and the Online and mobile safety page in Explore, for more information about protecting yourself online. Cybermentors is another great place to get advice about bullying, and it even has a page for parents too.

You are also very welcome to talk to a ChildLine counsellor by calling 0800 1111 (free from any phone), logging in for a 1-2-1 chat or sending an email.

Take care,

Sam

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