4.1.1 Knowledge and competences

Firstly, guidelines for raising awareness about cyberbullying and skill building are presented for all stakeholders. This is the strongest area of many anti-bullying programs, including typical school strategies.

Young people need:

  • Awareness raising activities to help them understand cyberbullying, its effects, and consequences.
  • Technical skills to use technology effectively and to stay safe online or using smartphones.
  • Specific skills for various online activities like social networking, blogging, chatting or gaming.
  • Principles of netiquette (the same standards of behaviour apply online as they do in real life).
  • Knowledge and the confidence to respond effectively to a cyber-attack.
  • Information about the risks and benefits of responding to cyber-attacks in different ways (what is likely to happen if they respond assertively, aggressively, passively, emotionally…).
  • Opportunities to improve their social skills, level of empathy, moral reasoning, conflict resolution skills and anger management.
Parents need:

  • Information about a safer mobile phone and Internet use, about different modes of electronic communication and how they are used in cyberbullying.
  • Knowledge how to help their children determine how they can report a problem, secure privacy settings or block unwanted communication.
  • Awareness that even though their children are skilled technically they may not know how to use the technology in safe ways.
  • Information on signs of cyberbullying, particularly becoming withdrawn, moody or depressed, upset or angry when online or reading a text, so they can provide support for their children during this time.
  • Skills to talk with their children about cyberbullying and not to wait until bullying happens.
Teachers need:

  • Professional training to intervene effectively in cyberbullying situations.
  • Understanding of group dynamics and conflict management skills.
  • Development of their own digital competences including technology use, cyber-safety, and online etiquette rules.
Schools need:

  • Age appropriate strategies for action and behavioural change when intervening in bullying.
  • Support to consistently implement existing strategies.
  • Positive discipline, cooperative learning methods, and effective conflict resolution approaches,
  • Endorsement of positive uses of technology and anti-cyberbullying interventions.
  • Strategies to develop online communication and other social skills, such as digital citizenship.