Cyberbullying: Caught in a vicious web
What is a cyberbully?
A cyberbully is a person who uses technology to harass or intimidate others. This may occur through sending cruel or threatening e-mails, instant messages and text messages. It may include spreading rumors and lies in chat rooms, blogs and Web sites. A cyberbully may also encourage others to gang up on an individual.
Why is it a problem?
More than a million school-age children in the United States are harassed electronically each day. Cyberbullying can happen anywhere. Vicious messages may be spread anonymously and quickly to many people.
Cyberbullies may . . .
- Create Web sites about a person with jokes, rumors and cartoons.
- Repeatedly send harassing e-mail or text messages.
- Take embarrassing photographs and send the images electronically by picture phone messaging or by posting them online.
- Pose as another person online.
- Exclude certain individuals from instant messenger buddy lists.
Get involved if your child is being cyberbullied
- Save and download evidence. You may also forward it to your Internet service provider (ISP). If you do not know who it is coming from, ask your Internet service provider to trace messages. Once identified, you may tell the cyberbully to stop, change your child’s e-mail address, or block or filter information sent through e-mail and instant messaging.
- File a complaint. Many cell phone companies and Internet service providers have regulations.
- Contact the school, parents, attorney or police.
Encourage responsible online behavior
- Talk to your children about their online activities.
- Keep an updated list of approved online friends.
- Monitor your child’s activities.
- Keep the computer in a central location of the house.
- Let your children know that you will be checking their profiles and postings on blogs and Web pages.
- Watch for secretive behavior.
- Install software that will record your child’s online activities.
Courtesy of the
Child Crisis Center
Strong Families. Safe Kids.
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