In an era where everyone seems to interact with each other electronically, cyber-bullying has become rampant among both children and adults alike.
Online bullying, called cyber-bullying, happens when people use the internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post messages or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. Whether youíve been a victim of cyber-bullying, know someone who has been cyber-bullied, or have even cyber-bullied yourself, there are steps you and your friends can take to stop cyber-bullying and stay cyber-safe.
How is an individual Cyber-bullied?
Being a victim of cyber-bullying can be a common and painful experience.
Those who cyber-bully:
Pretend they are other people online to trick others Spread lies and rumors about victims Trick people into revealing personal information Send or forward mean text messages Post pictures of victims without their consent
Others believe that those who cyber-bully:
Donít think itís a big deal
Donít think about the consequences
Are encouraged by friends
Think everybody cyber-bullies
How do victims react?
Contrary to what cyber-bullies may believe, cyber-bullying is a big deal, and can cause a variety of reactions in an individual.
Some individuals have reacted in positive ways to try to prevent cyber-bullying by:
Blocking communication with the cyber-bully Deleting messages without reading them Talking to a parent or friend about the bullying Reporting the problem to an internet service provider or website moderator
Many experience a variety of emotions when they are cyber-bullied.
Those who are cyberbullied report feeling angry, hurt, embarrassed, or scared. These emotions can cause victims to react in ways such as:
Seeking revenge on the bully
Avoiding friends and activities
Some victims feel threatened because they may not know who is cyber-bullying them. Although cyber-bullies may think they are anonymous, they can be found. If you are cyber-bullied or harassed and need help, save all communication with the cyber-bully and talk to your teacher, parent, boss, a trusted friend/co-worker, family member, and/or local authorities.
How can I prevent cyber-bullying?
Individuals have figured out ways to prevent cyber-bullying. Follow in the footsteps of other quick-thinking people by:
Refusing to pass along cyber-bullying messages Telling friends to stop cyber-bullying Blocking communication with cyber-bullies Reporting cyber-bullying to parents or local authorities
Donít forget, that even though you canít see a cyber-bully or the bullyís victim, cyber-bullying causes real problems. If you wouldnít say it in person, donít say it online. Delete cyber-bullying. Donít write it. Donít forward it.
What Else Can I Do To Stay Cyber-safe?
Remember that the Internet is accessed by millions of people all over the world, not just your friends and family. While many internet users are friendly, some may want to hurt you. Below are some ways to stay
Never post or share your personal information online (this includes your full name, address, telephone number, credit card number, or Social Security number) or your friendsí personal information.
Never share your internet passwords with anyone.
Never meet anyone face-to-face whom you only know online.
Information provided by the National Crime Prevention Council
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