Perhaps some of the following names are familiar to you: Alexis Pilkington, Phoebe Prince, Megan Taylor Meier, or Ryan Patrick Halligan. If you don’t know who these people are, these are some people who decided to end their lives because of Cyber-bulling. With the advent of the internet, social media sites, and texting, the school bullies have new tools to intimidate, pick on, tease and harass other students for an anonymous distance. These attacks make their victims feel embarrassed, hurt, angry, fearful, afraid, helpless, hopeless, isolated, ashamed, and even guilty that the bullying is somehow your fault. Cyber bully victims may even feel as in the cases cited above-suicidal.
October is National Cyber security Awareness Month and this article is dedicate towards arming you to deal with these Cyber-monsters.
These Cyber Monsters (or Bullies) are disturbed individuals take perverse pleasure in sending cruel or bullying message to individuals, or habitually embarrassing people in cyberspace with video images, or photo shopped pictures. They do it all with the aid of technology.
There are essentially two kinds of cyber-bullying. The first is by direct attacks. That is harmful or insulting messages sent directly to you or your children. The second form of cyber-bullying is by proxy. That is using or getting others to help cyber-bully the victim, either with or without the accomplice’s knowledge. Because cyber-bullying by proxy often gets adults involved in the harassment, it is much more dangerous. These messages range from annoying to frightening to outright threatening. Often in the by proxy method, a harmful message or rumor is sent around to a group of people, who will then by into the message and begin using the content of the message to harass you either in cyberspace or in person.
Unless you feel that you are in personal physical or psychological danger, the most effective response to a cyber-bully is to ignore him or her. In any bullying situation, it is always best to report it to someone in authority and have the incidents documented.. Whether operating in the cyber realm or in real life, most bullies are insecure twerps that are seeking attention or power. If you simply deny them what they are looking for, they will seek a new target.
Know This: it is against federal law threaten, intimidate, or harass anyone in person, by mail, or online. Using a social media websites (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus etc.) – or any other online resource – to threaten or harass anyone will leave evidence that can be used to bring the perpetrator to justice. Doing this illegal activity exposes the Cyber-monster to criminal charges as well as civil lawsuits.
Things you can do
- Don’t blame yourself. It is not your fault. You are not responsible on how people treat you, only in how your treat others. No matter what someone falsely says or does, you should not be ashamed of who you are, and who you are striving to be.
- Ignore them- If you reply or respond to a message from a bully, he or she will know what they did worked on you. If you respond in kind, it will just show that you are not better than the bully. So the best thing to do is to print the message, file it, and then delete it from your PC. There is a saying, “Never argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
- Contact the Service Provider - If you feel that the cyber bully has gone overboard, then you should already tell the moderator or service provider of the site or service about it. Many of these actions are a violation of their policies of using their service. If cyber monsters are already faking your name or making a profile under your name without your knowledge, you can ask your service provider or moderator to remove the profile or email.
- Change your Online ID -One way to get away from a cyber-monsters is by changing your screen name and email address. Be sure to give the new email address and screen name only to your trusted friends. Also, block any messages from strangers or those that are not included in your contact list.
- Report IT -If you receive threatening emails or if your reputation and credibility is already being undermined, then you should tell your parents and ask your parents to help you report the bullying to the school or even the police.
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