Bullies have always been prevalent in schools, offices, social gatherings, everywhere! Today when most of us are indulged in online learning and working we cannot ignore cyberbullying. We need to be aware of it to control it. Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place on digital devices such as mobiles, laptops, desktops, and tablets.
Places, where cyberbullying can take place, are:
- Social media like Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, etc
- Online gaming communities
- Chat rooms, Online forums
- Text messaging, Instant messaging, Direct messaging, etc
Forms of Cyberbullying:
- Posting, sending or sharing mean and harmful content about someone
- Sharing embarrassing information about someone causing humiliation
- Sending hurtful messages or threats
- Sending mean messages to others on behalf of someone
The only good thing about cyberbullying is that it leaves a digital footprint, which can prove useful as evidence to help stop the abuse.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CYBERBULLYING:
- Harassment: When a person receives abusive messages constantly. A person or a group of people keep trying to contact through calls or messages and leave threating messages.
- Doxing: When a person reveals the personal contact information about someone else on social media or public forums. Information might include the contact number, address, or mobile number. This leaves the other person vulnerable and makes them anxious to threats and attacks from others.
- Swatting: When someone reports false dangerous events happening at someone else’s address to emergency services. It results in armed personnel arriving at your home or work place leaving you in panic or fear.
- Revenge Porn: When someone circulates compromising images of a person on social media without their consent. It may be done to humiliate and damage the other’s reputation.
- Cyberstalking: When someone unknown follows all your activities on social media and try to make contact offline.
- Account hacking: When someone hacks your account and posts messages that might be damaging the reputation of your brand.
- False profiles: Some create fake social media profiles to damage a person’s individual image or that of a brand.
- Corporate attacks: In the corporate world, cyberbullies attack by sending wrong information about a website, or messages to them to shut down their website and make it non-functional.
WHY DO PEOPLE CYBERBULLY?
It is imperative to understand why people cyberbully in order to curb them. Some of the reasons are cited below:
- To fit In
- Home Life
- Peer pressure
- Someone has cyberbullied them
HOW TO CURB CYBERBULLYING
- Use privacy tools and settings on social media.
- Think before you post your images and information on social media.
- Do not share your location with all at all times.
- Maintain privacy from strangers as you do in offline conditions.
- Block those who are cyberbullying.
- Inform someone about the cyberbullying.
- Don’t retaliate.
- Change your contact information, that is email id and phone number if nothing else helps.
- Remember to log out when using public devices
- Make a record of all the abusive messages or comments you have received. It will be helpful incase of reporting if needed.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PREVENT CYBERBULLYING?
Messages on social media spread like wildfire. Once posted on social media people get the news from somewhere or someone even if the post is removed. Hence, cyberbullying decreases the self-esteem of people who have been cyberbullied. They go into emotional distress. They find it difficult to walk out among friends and start reporting headaches and illness to maintain social distancing. The loneliness they face might lead to depression and also suicidal thoughts.
It is important to understand that cyberbullying is a crime and that there are laws to tackle it. It is important to remember that if you are being cyberbullied it is not your fault. You must report it as soon as possible to save yourself and others from it.