Survey: What Does Adult Cyberbullying Look Like?

We wrote earlier this week about how younger people and those who spend more time on social media are more likely to be harassed online. That doesn’t mean that you should spend less time online – just that you need to be prepared for if and when the bad guys come knocking.

teen-cyberbullyingIt’s pretty straightforward stuff for adults, but doesn’t necessarily come as second nature to kids. That’s where parents come in.

The survey that we referenced was a little off the beaten path for us since the survey respondents were adults only – 18 years old and up. Normally we focus on child and teen issues. We thought we’d take a second look at the survey to highlight what types of adult harassment and cyberbullying are happening with adults these days, and what it means for families trying to safely and happily get around online.

Survey respondents reported having been subjected to the following:

  • Called offensive names – 17%
  • Received comments designed to embarrass – 14%
  • Received harmful comments about their appearance – 9%
  • Had personal details posted online – 7%
  • Victim of an online stalker – 6%
  • Repeatedly harassed over time – 6%
  • Threats of physical harassment – 4%
  • Sexual harassment – 4%

When asked about the above offenses, female social media users were much more likely than men to experience unwanted comments about their appearance, stalking and sexual harassment.

Does what happens online stay online? Not necessarily, even for adults. Of social media users who had been harassed, 28% of females say that it had an impact on their real world lives versus 19% of men.

It is probably obvious to parents that female kids are more likely to be harassed sexually or stalked online. As our young, inexperienced daughters venture online for the first time, it might not be as obvious to them.

Before you hand your child their first connected device you should be warning them about what may happen online, regardless of whether they’re a boy or a girl. With our daughters, it makes sense to be very clear about what the bad guys might be up to, and don’t think that tweens are too young to need this kind of guidance. The trolls get started early.




If your teen or tween is active online and you are having trouble keeping up, we can help. We respect your kids’ privacy and give you the tools you need to be a better digital parent. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.


Leave a Reply