What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is when technology is used negatively; to harass, embarrass, degrade, trick or offend a person or a group of people online repetitively. The NISR (NISR 2015, Bahrain) report reveals that 37.9% of students (ages 12-18) have been cyber-bullied in the past.
How is Cyberbullying done?
Cyberbullying could be done using any of the following technologies: text messages, instant messaging, private chats, chat rooms or chat groups, social media channels, blogs, gaming sites, online games, websites and others.
Some types of Cyberbullying include:
- Denigration: Sending or posting gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships and relationships
- Harassment: Repeatedly sending nasty, mean, and insulting messages
- Impersonation: Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material to get that person in trouble or danger or to damage that person’s reputation or friendships and relationships
- Flaming: Online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language
- Trickery & Deception: ‘Tricking’ someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, then sharing it online
- Cyberstalking & Extortion: Repeated, intense harassment and denigration that includes threats or creates significant fear.
- Outing: Sharing someone’s secrets or embarrassing information or images online
- Exclusion & Isolation: Intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from an online group
- Indirect cyberbullying: Supporting a cyberbully in any way, this could be by liking a rude comment on social media, or sharing an image that could be embarrassing.
- Others: include Trolling, griefing, doxing, swatting, raging and more.
Children affected with cyberbullying are more likely to show a negative change in behavior or have negative emotional effects, this could reflect in a child’s unwillingness to attend school, skipping class, getting lower grades or a noticeable decrease in their self-esteem and withdrawal from social events or even a sudden decrease in using the internet.
The following tips could be helpful for parents and caregivers to help their children say No to Cyberbullying:
- Keep a limit on your child’s internet usage. Set parental controls or limit the time by controlling the connection time, you can also set an internet use policy at home.
- The computer or tablet could be kept in a common area of the house, so that children use their devices in the presence of parents and other family members.
- If your child owns a smart mobile phone, make sure it is used only when necessary.
- Understand the various social networking websites and how they are used by children and teenagers.
- Have regular casual discussions with your kids. Having regular open discussions on their online activities can help children open up and talk freely.
- Teach your children not to respond to threatening or insulting messages or mails from unknown resources.
- As a parent or caregiver, if your child faces a problem online, try being supportive and understanding.
- Be sure to monitor your child’s behavior and habits, try to notice if a sudden change in behavior occurs, withdrawal signs from social occasions, or if they become less social, avoid certain people and places or even stop using the internet suddenly.
If there are any threats of physical violence or the bullying effects the health, well-being or safety of a child, immediately seek the help of the law:
- Save any evidence of the cyberbullying, take a picture of, or a screenshot of the bullying messages as evidence
- Report the incident with the evidence to MOI’s General Directorate of Anti-Corruption & Economic & Electronic Security by calling 992
To read more about Cyberbullying here’s Safesurf’s Cyberbullying booklet that has more details!