England has been named the worst country for cyber-bullying out of 48 other developed countries.
An international survey conducted over five years by the OECD think tank claimed that head teachers in English schools were more likely to have to deal with problems related to online bullying and social media, than any other country.
Education secretary Damian Hinds said: “All bullying is shameful but cyber-bullying is particularly cowardly and pernicious.”
Mr Hinds also said that he wants social media companies to “take their responsibility more seriously” in sheltering young people from bullying and harmful content online.
Tash Crump, President of Staffordshire Universities Students’ Union believes that being the victim of cyber-bullying can lead to mental health problems later in life.
She said: “People don’t even know them, they’re literally judging them on face value and that psychological effect of being judged instantly makes you go, ‘If that person thinks that, then everyone must think that.’
“Then you may start having mental health problems, and you get into a massive spiral and it can create a really big issue for young people, but also as they grow up, because they will continue to think in the same way.”
It is estimated that more than a third of teenagers spend at least three hours a day on social media.
Crump thinks the best way to for young people to protect themselves from online abuse is by making their social media accounts private.
The Union President said: “That way, you are only allowing the people you want to see things to see things , like your friends and family, that are going to love you and boost you up.”