Cyberbullying is a serious issue and should not be overlooked, and we must work together to stop it from occurring.
We all know that cyberbullying is harmful, and it has a negative impact on others, we also know that it can be very dangerous at some point.
Do not be a recipient of what happens to you and those around you, be a leader and prove the value of your presence, and leave a mark that contributes in changing the reality of cyberbullying and leave a positive effect on other people’s lives.
What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is an act by a person or a group which causes harm to another person or group using electronic devices linked to the internet, such as laptops, mobiles, or tablets and through social media applications as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, online games, text messages, emails, etc.
4 simple strategies to Stand Up to cyberbullying:
1. Being aware and careful of cyberbullying, where it occurs and its methods.
2. Dealing with cyberbullying in a smart manner, by reporting the cyberbullying, blocking the cyberbully and documenting the incident and reporting it.
3. Knowing and letting others know that cyberbullying is wrong, and should not be tolerated; instead, it should be stopped immediately.
4. Contributing in putting a stop to cyberbullying by spreading awareness to your classmates, friends and family.
What are the main types of cyberbullying?
1. Humiliation and harassment
A person can send you something to humiliate you, for example: “No one loves you”, “You are a loser”, “Can’t you see yourself in the mirror, you are ugly”, “You are a fat loser”…
2. Isolation and exclusion
A person marginalizes, isolates or excludes you from an activity or a group you belong to in one way or another. For example, a person invites all his classmates through his Facebook page and excludes you, and writes in the invitation that he excluded you because he does not want you; you are boring and you are not important.
3. Threatening and deception
A person threatens you with information related to something you are afraid that your parents, caregivers, or others might know about it. For example, someone has a picture of you in a wrong or inappropriate place, and threatens you to send it through social media websites to reach your parents or caregivers. The threat could also be false, for example, someone can say that you went to their house and stole their money. A threat could be with the intention of blackmail, where someone uses the information that they have against you, to make you do what they want even if you do not want to do it.
A person can impersonate you, and convince others that it is true. For example, a person can steal passwords belonging to your email or any of your social media accounts, or take your mobile whilst you are unaware, and send improper messages or inappropriate pictures from your account to others, which will make everyone think that you sent it.
I don’t want to be a victim of cyberbullying, what do I do?
As long as you are using the internet, there is a chance that you could be subject to cyberbullying from people that you may or may not know. However, there is so much you can do to reduce these possibilities to the lowest.
The following points are some important things you could do:
1. Take extra care and caution, fully activate the security features in your applications and all of your accounts and do not make any of your accounts public. All social network sites, email providers etc. have enhanced privacy features, which gives you additional protection from people who might violate your account or misuse your information in ways that would be harmful to you.
2. Do not expose your weakness by displaying them in public. If you are afraid of certain things, if you are home alone or worried about something or any aspect of your life that someone could use in a harmful way against you, do not post it on the internet.
3. Respect your privacy and do not share the details of your life with others. These things may seem insignificant to you and you may think that no one cares about them, but they actually give the cyberbully important information about your lifestyle and aids them in discovering your weaknesses and using them against you.
4. Speak respectfully about others through your accounts, especially about your parents, guardians and family, and do not share your family problems with others.
5. Do not share personal information about you or your family with anyone, including your parents or guardian’s place of work and travel plans.
6. Be aware of your actions and think before making any wrongful act. Remember that mistakes were easier to forget before telecommunications and the internet, where everything is easy to save and keep.
7. Have good relationships with good people who do not bully and do not accept bullying. They could be very supportive to you when you need them. Do not isolate yourself because you will not know what to do when you are involved in a problem.
8. Do not do something that is wrong and don’t be a bully or participate in bullying someone, no matter how easy it is and how much you want to do it.
9. If you do not want something to spread, do not post it on the internet in the first place. You control the information that you want to post on the internet, however once it is posted, it is no longer you are in control of who obtains it, and if it will be used to harm you.