45 Cyberbullying Statistics and Facts to Make Texting Safer

45 Cyberbullying Statistics and Facts to Make Texting Safer

cyberbully statistics

Updated January 24th, 2023

While the internet opens up a whole new world of communication and social interaction, it comes with its drawbacks — namely, cyberbullying, or the use of technology to bully another person.

We’ve gathered the latest cyberbullying statistics to see how this form of online harassment has evolved from 2019 leading into 2023. This data proves that this modern form of bullying is an unfortunate reality for many young people navigating life online. Social media pages and text messages provide a way to interact with a buffer, allowing bullies online to say things they might not in person. 

Here are the most relevant statistics about cyberbullying in 2023 to help you better spot, understand, and put a stop to cyberbullying — plus some advice for parents on how to keep kids safe. 

Parents can limit cyberbullying via text message

We believe text messaging is an excellent way to communicate both professionally and personally, but there’s no question that some groups out there can use text messaging for nefarious purposes.

Here are some measures that parents can take to prevent bullying over text message.

Help create a plan for smartphone use in schools

In our recent survey about smartphone use in schools, we found that 39% of teachers thought the biggest challenge when it comes to using phones at school is that students use them inappropriately.

Bullying can be a big part of this problem. While 46.4% of parents want teachers to incorporate smartphone use into their lesson plans more often, creating a plan to help reduce the amount of inappropriate smartphone use is likely something that would take collaboration between both parents and teachers.

Beware of text scams

Text scams are becoming more popular. Children, who have yet to develop critical reasoning skills, can easily be bullied by scammers into threatening situations. Brush up on the latest text scams and educate your children so they can distinguish between a spam text and a real one. Always let your children know to come to you immediately if they feel uncomfortable or have been contacted by an unknown number.

Consider Screen Time Limits

The average screen time for teens and kids has skyrocketed since COVID-19. Consider setting screen time limits to prevent your child from spending too much time on their phone, which can negatively affect their mental health.

What do statistics on cyberbullying say about how often it occurs? 

  1. Of the student respondents in one study, 23% reported that they’ve said or done something mean or cruel to someone on the internet. 27% reported that they’ve been the victim of the same treatment from someone else.
  2. Facts about cyberbullying show that almost half of young people (47%) have received intimidating, threatening or nasty messages on the internet. 
  3. Over one in three young people have been threatened while online.
  4. Anywhere from 9% and 35% of young people say they have been a victim of electronic aggression in some form.
  5. Roughly 14.9% of high school students were electronically bullied in the 12 months prior to one survey about cyberbullying.
  6. About 58% of kids report someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than four out of 10 report it happening more than once.
  7. Cyberbullying facts show nine out of 10 middle school students have had their feelings hurt while online.
  8. 64% of victims who receive an aggressive instant message report knowing the perpetrator from interactions in-person in 2020.
  9. About 75% of victims have visited a website that bashes another student.

2023 cyberbullying statistics show who’s most at risk

  1. About 37% of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 have been cyberbullied, while 30% have had it happen more than one time.
  2. Girls are approximately twice as likely as boys to be both victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying in 2019 and 2020.
  3. 15% of teenage girls have been the target of at least four different kinds of abusive online behaviors, compared with only 6% of boys.
  4. Roughly half of LGBTQ+ students experience harassment online, which is a rate higher than average.
  5. Facts about bullying show over half of adolescents and teens have been cyberbullied.
  6. 59% of teens in the United States have been bullied or harassed online.
  7. Reports of cyberbullying are highest for middle schools at about 33%, followed by high schools at 30% of reported cyberbullying. 
  8. Cyberbullying studies in 2019 and earlier have indicated that there is considerable overlap among traditional bullying and cyberbullying behaviors. 
  9. The most common things people were cyberbullied about include appearance, intelligence, and race.

Cyberbullying statistics: where does it occur?

  1. Cyberbullying can happen across platforms online, including email, instant messaging, text message, social media pages such as Facebook or Tumblr, and other websites.
  2. 95% of teens in the U.S. have an online presence, and the vast majority access the internet on their mobile device, making phones the most common medium for cyberbullying.
  3. Over 25% of young people have been bullied more than once through their own smartphones.
  4. The social media site where most young people report experiencing cyberbullying is Instagram, with 42% of those surveyed experiencing harassment on the platform.
  5. Facebook closely trails Instagram in cyberbullying frequency at 37%. 
  6. Close to one in five teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive or nude pictures of themselves to others.
  7. 32% of cyberbullying victims say someone made rude or nasty comments about them online.
  8. 70% of teenagers say someone spread rumors about them online.
  9. 14% of cyberbullying victims said they have been threatened or someone has made aggressive comments about them.
  10. Among teens aged 12 to 18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year, 15% were bullied online or by text.
  11. According to cyberbullying facts, one in 10 adolescents reports someone taking embarrassing or damaging pictures of them without their permission.
  12. Cyberbullying can look like a lot of different things. It can include harassment, insults or threats, spreading rumors, impersonation, outing, and trickery.
  13. About 21% of kids have received mean or threatening messages via email.
  14. Four out of 10 middle school students have had their password stolen, changed, or been locked out of online accounts by a bully.
  15. It’s not just kids–40% of adults have experienced some form of harassment online, and 75% of adults have witnessed cyberbullying.

What are the effects of cyberbullying? 

  1. Young people who experience cyberbullying are at a greater risk for both self-harm and suicidal behaviors than those who do not, significant effects of cyberbullying that can pose an immediate risk to life and wellbeing.
  2. Cyberbullying facts prove that out of children currently experiencing problems with their mental health, over two-thirds (68%) say they experienced cyberbullying within the last year.
  3. The most common forms of cyberbullying include being ignored and disrespected online. 

Statistics on cyberbullying: lack of prevention

  1. Only one in 10 teenage cyberbullying victims will report their abuse to a parent or trusted adult.
  2. 60% of young people have witnessed cyberbullying, while most do not intervene.
  3. Four out of five students say they would be more likely to intervene in instances of cyberbullying if they could do so anonymously. Cyberbullying effects are a significant deterrent to helping those who are bullied, just in case the helper indeed becomes an additional victim of cyberbullying.
  4. 83% of young people believe social media companies should be doing more to tackle cyberbullying on their platforms.
  5. Less than one in five incidents of cyberbullying are reported to law enforcement.
  6. Only one in 10 teens tells a parent if they’ve been a victim of cyberbullying.
  7. 95% of young people who use social media and have witnessed unkind behavior on social networking sites say they have seen others ignoring the mean behavior.
  8. 40% to 50% of cyberbullying victims report knowing who the person bullying them is.
  9. Cyberbullying also provides anonymity to the bully, which isn’t always possible with traditional bullying.
  10. Approximately 50% of children report using prevention tactics like blocking a screen name, changing their passwords, or cutting back their friend list.
  11. People spend 20% more time on social media in 2022 due to COVID-19 lockdowns, increasing the opportunities for cyberbullying to occur.

Ways to Combat Cyberbullying

  • Report bullies on platforms: Most social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit have reporting functions. Include the name of the account that’s doing the harassing, as well as some details on what’s been said.
  • Block the bully’s number: Your cell phone carrier should allow you to block specific numbers. If you or your child is being harassed, block the number so they can’t contact you anymore.
  • Reach out to authority figures: If your child is being bullied at school, reach out to a guidance counselor, teacher, or principal to discuss the issue and possible solutions.
  • Keep track of what’s said: Create a detailed record of any harassment in case it’s needed for proof in the future.
  • Don’t engage: Responding to a bully only adds fuel to the fire. Don’t acknowledge any messages or posts, and block and report the bully wherever possible so you won’t see anything from them in the future.