Cyberbullying vs Bullying

By  Education Victoria     |    Updated: 12th January, 2022    |    2 min read

While cyberbullying is similar to bullying in some ways, there are also differences.


  • Cyberbullying is invasive
    It can be difficult to escape and is incredibly invasive. It is more likely to occur outside of school, including while at home, and can happen at any time.
  • Cyberbullying can involve​ a large audience
    It can involve harmful material being widely and rapidly shared to a large audience, for example, rumours and images can be posted on public forums or sent to many people at once. This material can also continue to be available and harmful long after cyberbullying has ceased.
  • Cyberbullies have a sense​​ of anonymity
    It can provide the bully with a sense of relative anonymity and distance from the target, so there is a lack of immediate feedback or consequences.


  • Power imbalance
    The power imbalance between the ‘bully’ and ‘target’, the repetitive nature of the bullying behaviour and the intent to harm, humiliate, embarrass, ostracise, or isolate can occur in bullying and cyberbullying.
  • Types of behaviour
    Types of behaviour including spreading rumours and making threats or insults can occur in bullying and cyberbullying.
  • Reasons for behaving in a​ bullying way
    People often engage in cyberbullying for the same reasons they engage in bullying.

Advice and safety

  • Our website has resources to help students, parents and schools to deal with cyberbullying.
  • a range of cyberbullying advice sheets explain how to deal with cyberbullying and to learn about cyber safety, refer to cyberbullying advice sheets
  • if you’re a teacher and you want to find out how to teach your students to be cyber safe, refer to Classrooms and Cybersafety
  • principals can also learn what they can do by checking out Schools and Cybersafety
  • we also have a great range of promotional materials that schools can use to teach their community about cyberbullying prevention
  • to report cyberbullying or illegal material, or to investigate online safety information available through the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner, visit the website of 
  • Office of the Children’s eSafety CommissionereSmart Schools has developed an information series that provides resources to support schools with remote learning during COVID-19. To access the series, refer to eSmart Flexible and Remote Learning Resources.

Also check the related topics:  

Cyberbullying Bullying

Factsheet provided by Education Victoria


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