Tips to deal with cyber bullying

Technology means that bullying is no longer limited to schoolyards or street corners.

Cyber bullying can occur anywhere, even at home, via email, texts, cell phones, and social media websites 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with potentially thousands of people involved.

For those who suffer cyber-bullying, the effects can be devastating, leaving them feeling hurt, humiliated, angry, depressed, or even suicidal. But no type of bullying should ever be tolerated.

These tips can help you protect yourself or your child online and deal with the growing problem of cyber bullying.

Dealing with cyber bullying

With the advent of technology, bullying is no longer limited to schoolyards or street corners. Cyberbullying can occur anywhere, even at home, through email, texts, cellular phones or social media websites.

For those who suffer cyberbullying, the effects can be devastating, leaving you feeling hurt, humiliated, angry, depressed or even suicidal. However, no type of bullying should ever be tolerated.

What is cyber bullying?

Cyberbullying occurs when a child or teen uses the Internet, emails, text messages, instant messaging, social media websites, online forums, chat rooms or other digital technology to harass, threaten or humiliate another child or teen.

Cyberbullies come in all shapes and sizes. Almost anyone with an Internet connection or cellular phone can cyberbully someone else, often without having to reveal their true identity.

Cyberbullies can torment their victims 24 hours a day and the bullying can follow the victim anywhere so that no place, not even home, ever feels safe, and with a few clicks, the humiliation can be witnessed by hundreds or even thousands of people online.

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How cyberbullying harms people

The methods children and teens use to cyberbully can be as varied and imaginative as the technology they have access to.

It ranges from sending threatening or taunting messages through email or text, to breaking into your email account or stealing your online identity to hurt and humiliate you. Some cyberbullies may even create a website or social media page to target you.

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Tips for children or teens dealing with cyberbullying

Do not respond. If someone bullies you, remember that your reaction is usually exactly what the bully wants. It gives him or her power over you.

Do not retaliate. Responding with similar threats reinforces the bully’s behaviour. Help avoid a whole cycle of aggression.

Save the evidence. Online messages can usually be captured, saved and shown to someone who can help. Save evidence even if it is minor. Cyberbullying can escalate.

Block the bully. Use preferences or privacy tools to block the person. If it happens while you are chatting, leave the “room.” Report any abusive comments to the social media website administrators.

Reach out for help. Talk to a friend or a trusted adult who can help.