Decades ago, children have considered their home as their refuge from bullies and opportunistic people. With the advent of the Internet, however, many kids are not even safe in their own homes. They can be bullied and harassed even inside their room and sanctuary. What’s worse is that perpetrators of cyber bullying are usually difficult to ascertain or pinpoint.
What is Cyber Bullying?
According to a Media Awareness Network study in 2005, 17% of students who hide their identity online are doing so in order to bully or be mean to other kids. Since children can hide their own identity on the Net, many are emboldened to bully, hurt or do nasty things to people online because they know they don’t need to be responsible for their actions.
Cyber bullying is characterized by sending hateful or threatening emails or online messages directed at a particular person via the Internet or mobile phone. The spreading of lies, malicious content and other things that can damage a person’s reputation through the use of blogs, social networks, forums, etc can also be considered as cyber bullying.
You Should Be Able To Identify What Is Cyber Bullying
You will only be able to protect and deal with harassment and bullying online if you can identify it right away. A lot of kids are unaware that speaking badly about a person or telling lies about other people on the Internet is bad and is considered as bullying.
Know Your Rights
There are already laws regarding cyber bullying in other countries and even states, so it would be wise to know your rights even if you have not yet experienced any cyber bullying. Knowing your rights and the law will help you know how to deal with cyber bullying, especially those that are really going overboard.
If you feel that you are a victim of a cyber bully, be sure to save a copy of his or her mail and threats so that you will have proof in the future about your allegations.
Ignore The Bully
Many bullies are just insecure and are just seeking attention. The more you fan the fire, the more they will become bigger. Thus, the first thing to do is just try to ignore that person.
Leave The Site
If you can no longer ignore the bully, just leave the site and get off the Internet at once. If you are not online, then whoever is harassing or sending bad mails or messages to you will get tired because you they can’t get to you. Bullies crave attention and if you don’t give it to them, they will get tired of you and just find somebody else to bully.
Block The Bully’s Access To Your Mail, Messenger, Etc.
Many mail services, instant messaging sites and social networks allow users to block specific individual from sending or posting messages. If you feel that someone is already bullying you online, block him or her from all your Internet services you use.
Don’t Respond To A Bully
If you reply or respond to a message from a bully, he or she will know that you are affected by his or her bullying. If you send a hate mail in reply, it will just show that you are not better than the bully. So the best thing to do is to print the message, file it, and then delete it from your PC.
Secure New Address, Screen Name And Profile
One way to get away from a bully is by changing your screen name and email address. Be sure to give the new email address and screen name only to your trusted friends. Also, block any messages from strangers or those that are not included in your contact list.
Seek Moderator or Service Provider’s Help
If you think that the cyber bully has gone overboard, then you should already tell the moderator of the site about it. If bullies are already using your name or making a profile under your name without your knowledge, you can ask your service provider or moderator to remove the profile or email.
Tell Your Parents
If you are a victim of cyber bullying, tell your parents about it. They will help protect you from these people because your parents love you.
Report To Authorities
If you receive threatening emails or if your reputation and credibility is already being undermined, then you should tell your parents and ask your parents to help you report the bullying to the school or even the police.
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