What is Cyber Bullying?
We may or may not fully understand what cyberbullying is, but most of our children do. “Cyberbullying involves the use of information and communication technologies such as email, cell phone, text, IM, defamatory web sites, and defamatory online personal polling websites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.”-Bill Belsey
How is cyberbullying different from other types of bullying?
- It is “under the radar” screen of adults.
- Cyberbullies are able to anonymously communicate their hurtful messages to a very wide
audience with remarkable speed.
- Cyberbullies usually do not have to “own up to” their own actions.
- Cyberbulling is often outside of the legal reach of schools and school boards as this
behavior happens outside of school on home computers or via mobile phones.
- Victims are often fearful of telling others about being bullied because they fear the
bullying will become even worse online.
- In most cases, bullies know their victims, but their victims may not know their
- With the advent of technology this can happen anywhere 24/7. Children do not have
home as a refuge.
What are some signs that my child is being cyberbullied?
- He/She stops using the computer.
- Appears to be nervous or jumpy when an Instant Message or Email appears.
- Appears uneasy about going to school or outside in general.
- Appears to be angry, depressed, or frustrated after using the computer.
- Avoids discussions about what they are doing on the computer.
- Becomes abnormally withdrawn from usual friends and family members.
For more info visit www.cyberbullying.us – If you are the victim of cyberbullying, what can you and your parents do?
- Tell a trusted adult.
- Do not delete. Save the message for evidence. You can print screen and save to a file or print a hard copy.
- Inform your internet, instant messaging or mobile phone service provider.
- Inform your local police.
- Do not reply to messages from cyberbullies!
What to do if somebody has stolen your account?
If somebody has stolen or “hacked” your account and changed all the login details, you will need to get in touch with a support team to get it back.
If there are persistent cyberbullying problems, it is recommended that you delete current email accounts, profile accounts, cell phone/pager accounts and set up new ones. Do this as soon as possible unless you are working with the police and your telecommunications provider to keep the account (s) active to try and catch the cyberbully.