Many teens try to deal with cyberbullies own their own by stopping any communication with the person doing the bullying, deleting messages or reporting the bully to website moderators, often this is not enough to stop the bully.
The child or teen being bullied can feel threatened or scared, sometimes not even knowing who the bully is or why they are being attacked. They can be embarrassed or humiliated and not want to go to school if their friends see what someone has written about them.
In the past, bullying could be contained to a geographic and social setting like school or a playground. Now it follows you everywhere you go…it’s in your pocket, on your TV and any other device linked to social media. It’s not contained and forgotten…it gets viral and follows you.
According to the Prevent Cyberbullying Website.
- 63% of cyber bullies are under the age of 18.
- Most harassment is reported as happening on social media, gaming platforms with instant messaging also a large area for cyber bullying.
Parents need to monitor their children’s activities, both online and off and keep the lines of communication open to help prevent this from happening in their home.
What is Cyberbullying and Internet Harassment?
Cyberbullying is the act of using technology devices, such as cell phones or the internet to harass, hurt or embarrass someone else. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, almost half of all American teens have been victims of cyberbullying.
Forms of cyber bullying include:
- Someone can pretend they are someone else and write embarrassing or humiliating things about the victim.
- Someone can spread lies and rumors about the victim.
- Text messages can be mean and hurtful or sexual in nature.
- Someone can upload pictures of the victim, without their consent or knowledge.
Parents can get involved in helping keep their children safe from cyber bullies by:
- Talking with your children, let them know that cyberbullying is wrong. Tell them if they should receive messages or photos, not to pass them along.
- Talk with your children’s school about holding assemblies to educate students about preventing cyberbullying and keeping safe on the internet.
- Talk to your children about their online activities.
- Let them know they can come to you if someone is harassing them online or through their cell phone.
- Block calls from anyone leaving mean or hurtful messages.
- Remind your children about staying safe on the internet and not giving out any personal information.
- There is a number of internet monitoring programs available. The decision of whether to use one of these is a personal decision.
- Report cyber bullies to internet providers and site moderators.
- Take a Self Defense Class or enroll your child in sports. Kids will grow empowered and confident in the right environment. Training helps them channel their frustrations in a positive direction.
According to extensive research on middle school age students and teenagers online, the fastest growing problems within the world of cyberbullying are:
- Stealing an individual’s name and password to a social networking site, then using the victim’s profile to post rumors, gossip or other damaging information.
- Altering photographs using PhotoShop or other photo editing software in order to humiliate the victim.
- Recording conversations without the victim’s knowledge or consent, then posting the call online.
- Creating confrontational and mean-spirited online polls about the victim and posting them on social media.
- Using social media and blogs to post hurtful, embarrassing information about the victim.
Resources that are here to help you:
Internet Solutions For Kids