What is cyber bullying?
Cyberbullying is any kind of bullying carried out through electronic media devices using digital technologies. Unlike face-to-face bullying, it can be challenging to find cyberbullying in action because everything here happens behind the screen. It can occur on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms, and mobile phones. It is a recurred behavior aimed at frightening, offending, or humiliating the targeted. Cyberbullying is more prevalent than we might think.
Common examples include:
- circulating misstatements about or posting awkward photos of someone on social media
- posting hurtful messages or threats
- hacking someone’s ID and sending mean messages to others on their behalf.
Why should cyberbullying be regulated?
Cyberbullying leaves a digital footstep. It is distinct from the conventional form of bullying that we might be more familiar with:
- It can happen at any time because online activity means you can be in contact with the bully at any time.
- anonymity online makes cyberbullying very scary as the victim might not even know the bully or ‘troll.’
- Within a few minutes, anything can become viral because social media can connect to a broader audience – e.g., a photo circulated online.
Preventive measures from being cyberbullied?
There are some ways we can help and educate our children to stop cyberbullying:
- Children should be taught how to communicate online – since the receiver can’t see facial appearances or voice tones, not all online comments and writing can be taken in the same way you think.
- Make them aware of a wider audience – it is difficult to completely erase our ‘digital footprint’ in this day and age, and therefore your child might not be aware that what they are sending could be potentially made available to more people than the receiver.
- Observe the changes in your child’s behavior, slipping grades, negative friendship changes, and excessive solitary behavior. All these represent that the child may be subject to bullying.
- Always report and block any abusers or trollers.
- Keeping the lines of communication open with your child, particularly as they reach their teens, is key to supervising common bullying issues that arise. Also, try to build their confidence if they are going through any such situation.
- Discuss such cyberbullying concerns with your child’s school that can help prevent a situation from intensifying.
- Try to Educate yourself about online bullying as much as possible to prevent it from occurring with you and those around you.
- Do not share your passwords. By doing so, you don’t allow bullies to post false/private/embarrassing information or pictures on your social media.
- Before sending a risky photo of yourself to a peer or posting it online, take a moment to analyze if you could share this with your family. If the answer is no, then step back because bullies can use this picture as resources to make your life suffering.
- Don’t post anything that can jeopardize your status and character.
- Raise awareness about cyberbullying through a club, an event, or a campaign.
- Restrain who can see your online profiles to only trusted friends.
- Every now and then, google your name and see if any personal information or photos come up. If you find something that cyberbullies can use to target you, take action, and have it removed.
- Do not respond to spam messages. Delete all such messages without reading them as they could contain viruses and infect your computer.
- Whenever you access your accounts through any public or a new computer, log out of your accounts on public computers because by staying logged in, you run the risk of the bully changing your password and locking you out for some time.
What to do if your child is a cyberbully
While it is essential to protect your children from cyberbullies, it is also necessary to examine the fact that it could be your child doing the bullying. If you doubt your child may be bullying others, remain calm and talk to them.
You may like to contemplate the coming tips:
- Try to talk to them and ask them why they are nasty to others and determine the reason behind the issue.
- It may be that they may be troubled themselves or revenging to criticisms they have received.
- Cultivating empathy can have immediate results when they realize the consequences of their actions on others and how their actions have made the receiver feel.
- Try to Contact their school and ask their teachers to target cyberbullying and look through the school’s guidance on the subject. Especially if both children attend school, they will want to get involved in correcting the circumstances.