This activity was designed by COPA with funding from the Telus Foundation.

This activity was created by COPA with funding from the Telus Foundation and technical design by SocialTech.

COPA (Centre ontarien de prevention des agressions) is a Francophone not-for-profit organization offering services in both French and English. Founded in 1995, we are a recognized centre of excellence in the field of violence and bullying prevention by advocating for equity and inclusion.

COPA provides schools and communities with unique multimedia educational resources, as well as training, professional development and opportunities for capacity-building and consultation.

COPA works with provincial and local organizations and institutions across Ontario, such as parent groups, schools, boards, teachers’ unions, women’s groups, cultural, health and community centres and settlement agencies.

COPA’s unique approach is based on individual and collective empowerment, founded on principles of social justice to bring about positive change.

COPA cares deeply about human rights, especially those of children and all marginalized groups. We all belong.

To learn more about COPA, visit our website at or email us at

Also, please explore our related educational sites:

Someone you don’t know threatens you online.

Scenario /

You’re playing a game online and it’s going great.

You’re in the lead and about to win.

Suddenly you get a scary message from an anonymous player that says: “If you try to win this, I’ll find you and bust your face.”

How would this make you feel? Are your rights protected? Would you feel safe, strong and free?

Remember: thinking about your rights and thinking about if you feel they’re being respected can be a great way of figuring out what you’re feeling and what steps you can take.

Like a radar or a tracking device to understand what’s happening.

If you feel as though your rights have been taken away on purpose as a means of hurting you, then yes, an assault has taken place.

Three different kinds of assault have taken place here:

  • psychological (because it is meant to scare you, and involves a threat to your safety)
  • verbal (because the person used frightening words that have a negative effect)
  • physical (there may be a threat to your physical safety)

What you can do

Your Options /

Sending a private message

You could say ...

  • Leave me alone
  • Hey, that’s not cool - if you don’t leave me alone I’ll report you
  • I just took a sreenshot of what you wrote
  • You have no right to threaten me
  • I just reported this

Telling someone you trust

Getting help from someone you trust (a friend, an adult, anyone you trust) can go a long way.

If you can’t immediately speak with someone you trust you could:

  • Text the person
  • Stop playing the game and go get the person and show them (your being safe really matters!)
  • Take a screengrab of the message and show someone later on.

Protecting yourself

  • You could stop communicating with them – stop playing the game
  • You could change your username
  • You could make your account private
  • You could block the user
  • You could report the threat (with or without a screenshot)

Being aggressive and getting revenge

Getting back at the person and wanting revenge is normal, but it usually doesn’t work. It actually just makes things worse.

It’s understandable that you’re scared or mad. What this person did was not at all OK.

But if you respond with an aggressive or antagonistic message, the situation will probably get worse. It can add fuel to the fire.

It can turn into trolling.

We use the word troll and trolling a lot. It’s getting more common. Sometimes that’s exactly what’s going on, even though we can’t imagine it.

On the internet, a troll is someone that posts stuff just to mess things up and make people feel awful.

They do it on purpose. They want to cause trouble and start fights. They like it when things get crazy and out of hand. That’s what they want.

So if you get into a fight with them, they get what they want and things will probably just get nastier, and probably scarier.

Sending them a nasty message is like adding fuel to the fire they have started on purpose.

Best to not get into it. Instead, report them so that they can’t keep going or do it to others.

When someone (whether you know them or not) asks you for information about you that’s private, your address, or photos, it’s a good idea to take some time to think about what you want to do. Think about whether giving out this information you will make you feel safe, strong and free.

You don’t have to do it.

No one ever has the right to make you send stuff.

And even if you do trust them, you don’t have to send anything, either.


If you have a worried feeling about it, try to trust that feeling. It probably means you are not feeling safe or free.

Keep in mind that stuff on the internet stays there forever.

Really truly forever!

Once you send it, you can’t necessarily get it back.

And, once it’s posted, you can’t erase it. Ever.

Here’s something else really important to think about:

If you do send information or photos that gets posted without your consent, it’s still the person that posted it that did the wrong thing – not you! REALLY!

To harm someone else is a choice that person makes – and it is never, ever your fault.


Email yourself the answers you submitted in this section