What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber- bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. Cyber-bullying takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. It usually occurs among young people. When an adult is involved, it may meet the definition of cyber-harassment or cyberstalking, a crime that can have legal consequences and involve jail sentence. Cyberbullying is a willful and repeated behavior. It can involve text, gaming devices, internet, social media, e-mails, blogs, cell phone apps, messages, instant messaging or images. Many people who engage in cyberbullying feel they are anonymous so they do things online they would never dream of doing in real life.
Unique Characteristics of Cyber Bullying
- Cyberbullying can happen any time of the day or night.
- Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
- Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.
- Cyber Bullying can be done using numerous devices like computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones etc.
- Cyber Bullying can be more than damaging than other bullying
- Victims of cyber bullying can suffer from every lasting physiological effect.
Types of Cyber Bullying
These are common types of cyberbullying:
- Flaming– rude conduct and lewd language
- Cyberbullying– insults, defamation and bullying
- Harassment– creating fear
- Cyberstalking– credible threats of actual harm offline
- Blackmailing – Asking for fever to stop cyber bullying
Prevention of Cyber Bullying
- Be Aware of What Your Kids are Doing Online
- Educate kids about cyberbullying and other online issues regularly.
- Know the sites your kids visit and their online activities.
- Tell your kids that as a responsible parent you may review their online communications if you think there is reason for concern.
- Install parental control filtering software or monitoring programs are one option for monitoring your child’s online behavior, but do not rely solely on these tools.
- Monitor the devices kids use regularly.
- Ask for their passwords, but tell them you’ll only use them in case of emergency.
- Ask to “friend” or “follow” your kids on social media sites or ask another trusted adult to do so.
- Educate your children to share if they or their friend is being cyber bullied
- Establish rules about appropriate use of computers, cell phones, and other technology.
- Educate them not to share password with friends
- Don’t hurt or embarrass others, in case of cyber bullying inform parents immediately
- Share and include only your best friends in circles. Avoid strangers on net.
Signs of Child being Cyber Bullied
Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:
- Unexplained injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
- Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
- If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problem. Get help right away.
Cyber Bullying Locations
Cyberbullying can occur in:
- Instant Messages
- Chat Rooms
- Social Media
- Cell Phones
- Internet Polling
- Social Networking Sites
Cyber Security Measures
- Understand Cyber Bullying. Understand what constitutes cyberbullying, as well as how and where it is most likely to occur. Talk to your friends about what they are seeing and experiencing.
- Password Protection. Never share password with anyone, keep changing password time to time.
- Don’t upload your undesirable images. Images once uploaded can become public, so be careful while uploading your images
- Delete unidentified or unsolicited messages. Never open messages (emails, text messages, Facebook messages, etc.) from people you don’t know, or from known bullies. Delete them without reading.
- Log out of online accounts. Don’t save passwords in form fields within web sites or your web browser for convenience, and don’t stay logged in when you walk away from the computer or cell phone. Don’t give anyone even the slightest chance to pose as you online through your device. If you forget to log out of Facebook when using the computer at the library, the next person who uses that computer could get into your account and cause significant problems for you.
- Pause before you post. Do not post anything that may compromise your reputation. People will judge you based on how you appear to them online. They will also give or deny you opportunities (jobs, scholarships, internships) based on this.
- Setup privacy controls. Restrict access of your online profile to trusted friends only. Most social networking sites like Facebook and Google + offer you the ability to share certain information with friends only, but these settings must be configured in ordered to ensure maximum protection.