ALMOST one in four people in the UK have experienced online bullying, with a 2019 YouGov poll finding 23 per cent of people reported being targeted online.

This week, this is evidenced in the tragic death of Love Island presenter, Caroline Flack who experienced cyberbullying before taking her own life.

The presenter’s death has also led to Vicky Clifton, from Pudsey, who has been trolled herself, to set up an online petition to call for such acts to be made illegal.

READ MORE: Caroline Flack death provokes plea from woman to stop trolls

Although, online abuse really shouldn’t be happening – it’s very much a reality online users have to deal with until the ‘powers that be’ do more to stop it.

Jordan Baker, chief executive officer of Sanity Marketing who has worked with more than 140 clients from the House of Commons to the Crowne Plaza Hotel chain, reveals five ways of dealing with online trolling:

1 Ignore them: although not easy to do, the now famous phrase ‘don’t feed the trolls’ is probably your best bet for managing unwarranted abuse.

Like most bullies, they crave a reaction and get bored when they don’t get one. Starve them. The easiest of steps (and one of the most satisfying) is to block/ban them and report them to the relevant platform. Out of sight, out of mind.

2 Talk about it: don’t suffer in silence. Tell your friends and family or look to support groups. You are not alone.

3 Make your profiles friends-only: making your accounts private limits your reach and interaction with the outside world – but at least you get to choose who you are interacting with – knowing they are kind and rooting for you. This might be especially worth doing if you are feeling vulnerable.

4 Online exodus: the most dramatic of steps, but sometimes a period without social media accounts can give you the space and time to breathe; as well as a little perceptive. Alternatively, turn off push notifications so you log on in your own time; or make a habit of logging on when you’re in a particular environment (such as at home) surrounded with family or friends.

5 Call them out: a risky move but potentially very gratifying – stand up to them. Like most bullies, keyboard warriors tend to be cowards and quickly retreat when they are confronted.

They don’t tend to be masters of debating so fight back with facts; kill them with kindness or reply with humour and let them make a (public) fool of themselves and crawl back under the bridge from whence they came.