What is Cyber Bullying?
Why Cyber Bullying is different?
- Cyber bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a person even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night.
- Cyber bullying messages and images can sometimes be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
- Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.
Effects of Cyber Bullying
- Use of alcohol and drugs
- Absence from work/school
- Experience in-person bullying
- Be unwilling to attend school
- Reduced grades
- Suffer Depression
- Marks or cuts caused by Self-Harming
- Have Suicidal Thoughts/Suicide
Preventing Cyber Bullying (Advice for Parents)
Parents and their children can prevent cyber bullying. Together, they can explore safe ways to use technology.
Be aware of what your children are doing online
Talk with your children about cyber bullying and other online issues regularly.
- Know the sites your children visit and their online activities. Ask where they’re going, what they’re doing, and who they’re doing it with.
- Tell your children that as a responsible parent you may review their online communications if you think there is reason for concern. Installing parental control filtering software or monitoring programs are one option for monitoring your child’s online behavior, but do not rely solely on these tools.
- Have a sense of what they do online and in texts. Learn about the sites they like. Try out the devices they use.
- Ask for their passwords, but tell them you’ll only use them in case of emergency.
- Ask to “friend” or “follow” your children on social media sites or ask another trusted adult to do so.
- Encourage your children to tell you immediately if they, or someone they know, is being cyber bullied. Explain that you will not take away their computers or cell phones if they confide in you about a problem they are having.
Establish Rules about Technology Use
Understand User Agreement Policys
Reporting Cyber Bullying
When cyber bullying happens, it is important to document and report the behavior so it can be addressed.
Steps to take immediately
- Don’t respond or retaliate to cyber bullying messages.
- Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this evidence to report cyber bullying to a moderator.
- Block the person who is cyber bullying.
Report Cyber Bullying to Online Service Providers
Cyberbullying often violates the terms of service established by social media sites and internet service providers.
- Review their terms and conditions or rights and responsibilities sections. These describe content that is or is not appropriate.
- Visit social media safety centers to learn how to block users and change settings to control who can contact you.
- Report cyberbullying to the social media site so they can take action against users abusing the terms of service.
Report Cyber Bullying to Law Enforcement
When cyberbullying involves these activities it is considered a crime and should be reported to law enforcement:
- Threats of violence
- Child pornography or sending sexually explicit messages or photos
- Taking a photo or video of someone in a place where he or she would expect privacy
- Stalking and hate crimes
Some countries/states consider other forms of cyber bullying criminal. Consult your country/state laws and law enforcement for additional guidance.
Report Cyber Bullying to Schools
- Cyberbullying can create a disruptive environment at school and is often related to in-person bullying. The school can use the information to help inform prevention and response strategies.
- In many countries/states, schools are required to address cyber bullying in their anti-bullying policy. Some country/state laws also cover off-campus behavior that creates a hostile school environment.
United States - Stop Bullying
France - TBA
Germany - TBA