Skip to main content

Home Cyber harassment

Cyber harassment

Cyber harassment definition

Cyber harassment is a tactic used to repeatedly offend, annoy, attack, threaten, or verbally abuse a victim using digital means with the intention to cause distress and harm.

See also: cyberbullying, cyberstalking, doxxing

Cyber harassment examples

  • Cyberbullying is abusing someone on social media or other online platforms. Its tactics may include insulting or threatening messages, hurtful comments, spreading rumors, and sharing personal information or images without consent.
  • In doxxing, perpetrators post their victim’s personal information online without permission. The intention is to harass or harm them. The sensitive details may include their home address, phone number, or email address.
  • Trolling is when perpetrators post inflammatory or offensive messages online. The intention is usually to provoke others and cause chaos.
  • In online sexual harassment, perpetrators send unwanted sexual messages, demand intimate photos, objectify their targets, or even blackmail them.
  • Revenge porn is sharing sexually explicit images or videos of someone without consent. It usually happens after the end of a romantic relationship — hence the “revenge” part. Many countries have enacted criminal laws against the distribution of revenge porn.
  • In swatting, perpetrators falsely report a serious crime to law enforcement. As a result, a SWAT team or other emergency responders are often dispatched to the victim's location. Swatting is a life-threatening form of harassment — in 2017, it resulted in a victim’s death when a police officer shot and killed a man.

Stopping cyber harassment

  • Report inappropriate comments and messages to the platform they’re on.
  • Document the harassment and keep the evidence as proof.
  • Limit the information about yourself online.
  • Consider reporting the predators to the authorities.
  • Find support groups in your country or online to help with your case.