Cyberbullying is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones."
- Source: StopCyberbullying.org
The Internet makes it possible for "cyberbullies" to harass their victims at any time of the day, even in their own homes. Using chat rooms, email, instant messaging, and websites, cyberbullies can make threats, share gossip, spread lies or distribute embarrassing pictures to a wide audience while maintaining some anonymity.
How it can happen
- Instant Messaging/Text Messaging Harassment
- Stealing Passwords
- Web Sites
- Sending Pictures through E-mail and Cell Phones
- Internet Polling
- Interactive Gaming
- Sending Malicious Code
- Sending Porn and Other Junk E-Mail and IMs
Click here for more information on direct cyberbully attacks.
Attacks by proxy
Cyberbully attacks by proxy occur when a cyberbully gets someone else to do the bullying. Most of the time this person does not know that they are being used by the cyberbully. Cyberbullying by proxy is the most dangerous kind of cyberbullying because it can get adults involved in the harassment who are unaware that they are dealing with a child.
Cyberbullies can also attack by posing as the victim. They may have set up a new account pretending to be their victim. Essentially they are pretending to be the victim and creating problems for the victim with the help of others. If the cyberbully can make it look like the victim is doing something wrong, and the parents are notified, the parents will punish the victim.
Click here to visit StopCyberbullying.org for more information on attacks by proxy.
What do do
Educating the kids about the consequences (losing their ISP or IM accounts) is the first step in combating cyberbullying. Teaching them to respect others and to take a stand against bullying of all kinds helps too.
Stop — Block — Tell
If you are targeted by a cyberbully:
- STOP! — Don't do anything. Take 5! to calm down.
- Block! — Block the cyberbully or limit all communications to those on your "buddy list".
- Tell! — Tell a trusted adult, you don't have to face this alone.
Report cyberbullying to wiredsafety.org
Contact your ISP
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may be able to help you deal with a cyberbully. Your ISP may be a company like America Online (AOL), Microsoft Network (MSN) or EarthLink. Many telephone companies and cable television companies are also ISPs.
Click here for extensive information from StopCyberbullying.org on how to deal with a cyberbullying incident.