cyberbullying

    Posted : November 4, 2010
    Last Updated : June 25, 2013
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    cyberbullying

    With the advancement of technology, electronic bullying has become a problem that's on the rise among today's teens. The Cyberbullying Research Center defines cyberbullying as "willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices." Whether you've been a victim of cyberbullying, know someone who has been cyberbullied, or have even cyberbullied yourself, it's important that you take steps to stop this kind of cruelty.

    Methods of Cyberbullying
    The Stop Bullying Now campaign breaks cyberbullying activity down as follows:

    • Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images
    • Posting sensitive, private information and/or lies about another person
    • Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad
    • Intentionally excluding someone from an online group

    Children and teens can cyberbully each other through:

    • Emails
    • Instant messaging
    • Text or digital imaging messages sent on cell phones
    • Social networking sites
    • Web pages
    • Blogs
    • Chat rooms or discussion groups
    • Other cyber technologies

    How to Deter Cyberbullying
    Awareness and education are the keys to the prevention of cyberbullying. Keep the following in mind to help put a stop to cyberbullying.

    • Never give out personal information. Home addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. should never be posted online. Do not post or text personal or compromising photos. Do not give your passwords to anyone with the exception of your parents or guardian.
    • Take advantage of privacy settings on social networking sites. Adjust your settings on these sites to monitor who can contact you and who can read your online content. Block anyone that shows any signs of cyberbullying. Check out Social Networking Sites: Etiquette and Safety.
    • Don't send a message to someone else when you are angry. Everyone gets angry from time to time. It's human nature. However, don't let your anger get the best of you. If you become angry with someone, do not send a threatening or hurtful message to that person. Wait until you have calmed down and had time to think before you compose the message.
    • Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages. Don't let any of your friends talk you into being mean to another person. If you have a friend who is cyberbullying, let that friend know that her actions are wrong and that she is causing unnecessary pain to another individual.
    • Ignore bullies. If you are the victim of cyberbullying, it's important that you do not respond back to any of the bully's rude messages or comments. The bully wants to know that he has hurt you. Don't give him the satisfaction.
    • Log off. Turn off your computer. Turn off your phone. Spend time with your family and friends who love you. Don't waste time or energy on those who just want to be mean.
    • Report cyberbullying to a trusted adult. If you are the victim of any form of bullying, be sure to report the incident(s) to an adult whom you trust such as a parent, teacher, school counselor, etc.

    When to Inform the Police
    The police will probably not become involved if the bullying is restricted to a few isolated, nonthreatening incidents. However, threats of violence or repeated and excessive harassment should be reported to the police. Keep in mind that the urging of someone to commit suicide is a death threat and should be reported to the police. Be sure to save all messages and postings from the bully as evidence.

    For more information about cyberbullying, check out stopcyberbullying.org and cyberbullying.us.

     


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