Cyberbullying is the use of electronic devices, the internet, and social networking sites to harass, intimidate, and threaten others, particularly children and adolescents. Cyberbullying, like conventional bullying, has significant psychological effects on the victim.
Studies indicate that over 33 percent of American youngsters experience cyberbullying. Three out of every ten cyberbullying victims attempt suicide. These frightening statistics propel cyberbullying to the forefront, making it one of the most contested topics among parents worldwide.
Nevertheless, parents, schools, and other concerned individuals must work together to avoid cyberbullying in society.
Indicators that a youngster is being cyberbullied or is a cyberbully
Here are some frequent warning indicators to look out for.
- A child’s increasing or decreasing usage of internet-enabled gadgets might indicate either that he is a bully or that he is being bullied.
- Constant display of emotional reactions online. A child’s recurrent outbursts of laughter, wrath, or distress indicate whether he or she is a bully or a victim.
- When a youngster conceals his gadgets from you or avoids discussing his internet activity, this is a red flag.
- When a child’s favorite pastimes or social gatherings become unpleasant, he or she is likely to be a victim of cyberbullying.
- When old social media profiles are immediately deleted or replaced by new ones, this phenomenon occurs.
How to avoid cyberbullying
If you see cyberbullying indicators that indicate a kid is a victim, you should provide the youngster with the required emotional and psychological assistance. Also, if bullying behavior is noticed in a youngster, it should be handled firmly to demonstrate that cyberbullying is an unacceptable social vice.
Other things you may do to avoid cyberbullying are outlined below.
- Be informed of the specifics of cyberbullying. To combat the societal scourge of cyberbullying, you need to study and have an understanding of what cyberbullying is, how it occurs, and how to avoid it.
- Safeguard your password and other sensitive information from your peers. In this manner, you prevent bullies from accessing your social media and email accounts. You wouldn’t want bullies to post fraudulent or threatening information or images on your social media profile or use your email account to send humiliating photographs or emails to the general public.
- Do not post humiliating or sensitive photographs or images of yourself on social media. Such images might be used to harass, blackmail, and threaten you by bullies.
- Consider this before posting. The publication of negative content online may severely harm your reputation and elicit hostile responses, which can be termed bullying.
- Report any instances of cyberbullying. You may report cyberbullying to your parents, school administration, anti-cyberbullying initiatives, or advocacy groups.
- Use privacy settings to limit who may see your profiles and updates to your pals.
- Do not open mail from unknown senders before deleting them. This step is necessary to prevent your system from being infected with malware that compromises system security in an attempt to steal sensitive data.
- Make every effort to keep all personal information private. Do not provide your address, email address, phone number, etc. to strangers online.
- Ignore messages sent by online bullies. Responding to cyberbullies’ messages and remarks will encourage them to engage in more cyberbullying.
- Cyberbullying prevention begins with you not becoming a cyberbully and treating people as you would want to be treated.
- Whenever you use a public computer to access your email and social media accounts, be careful to always log out.
- Keep a copy of any malicious information that is given to you or put on your social media profile. Record-keeping is important for identifying cyberbullies and banning their accounts.
- Block any instances of cyberbullying from your social media accounts. Thus, you are not exposed to their offensive posts. Additionally, be weary of accepting “friend requests” from people you do not know or about whom you have little information.
- Inform people of the negative impacts of cyberbullying. Speak up, and inform your cyberbullying-engaged friends about the devastating effects of cyberbullying. Inform the adults around you if necessary.
As a parent, there are steps to take to avoid cyberbullying.
- The computer system should not be kept in your child’s bedroom but rather in an open and easily accessible location.
- Understand how social media networks operate. Familiarize yourself with the functionality of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. These are the most prominent social networking sites with which you should be acquainted.
- Using parental control and monitoring programs, monitor your child’s internet activity remotely.
- Install a VPN on the gadgets of your ward to conceal their internet location. NordVPN is among the best VPNs available.
- Communicate with your children and inquire as to whether they are encountering any internet troubles. Develop their trust in you. Children may seek assistance from you if they experience cyberbullying online.
- Do not respond excessively by blaming your children. If your kid is a victim of cyberbullying, you should provide emotional support while seeking a long-term solution.
- As a parent, you should be aware that the physical effects of cyberbullying are far worse than those of conventional cyberbullying. You must assist your child in overcoming the emotional repercussions of cyberbullying; you cannot ignore or dismiss your child’s allegation of cyberbullying. Instead, be proactive in addressing cyberbullying in your child’s case.
- Threatening to take away your children’s phones or laptops might make them more secretive about their internet habits.
- Communicate with your child’s school counselors to prevent bullying at school. The origins of cyberbullying may be traced to conventional bullying at school or at home.
- Ensure that internet etiquette and safety are incorporated into the curriculum of schools. This will increase pupils’ knowledge of the negative repercussions of bullying on society.
Combating cyberbullying in the community requires the concerted efforts of community members. Members of society are responsible for educating the community about the dangers of cyberbullying. Additionally, the community should have zero tolerance for cyberbullying.
The school has the potential to foster cyberbullying. To combat the scourge of cyberbullying, schools must pass stringent anti-cyberbullying regulations, including the establishment of helplines and email addresses for reporting cyberbullying incidents.