Online bullying or cyber bullying refers to the act of bullying using electronic technology. Some examples of online bullying could include sending emails and text messages meant to harass an individual, spreading rumors about someone on social networking sites and posting embarrassing pictures, videos or fake profiles of someone. Over the past few years, online bullying has increased greatly, but there are a number of steps that you can take to prevent it. Here’s a look at some online bullying prevention tips.
Don’t respond – when bullying takes place over the internet, the bully wants you to react in a certain way. This can give him power over you so the best thing you can do is not to respond in any way.
Save the evidence – you can get help from someone by saving the evidence. The good thing is that electronic technology allows you to save the messages and evidence and show it to someone who can help you.
Tell your parents – when things seem to be getting worse, involve your parents. Another thing you can do is approach your school counselor who will be able to help you in the best possible way.
Block the bully – there are privacy settings on social networks that you can use to prevent bullying. If you are being bullied through profile comments and instant messages, you can block the bully.
Be civil – when you dislike someone, talking bad about them is not going to help you in any way. In fact, it can increase your chances of getting bullied. In case you don’t get along with someone, the best thing you can do is be decent, regardless of how the other person behaves or what he/she says about you. If you want to be treated nicely, treat others nicely.
Avoid being a bully yourself – no one wants to be bullied. If you don’t want someone to harass you, don’t think about harassing someone else. Try to imagine yourself in their situation and this may help you control your aggression. Remember, that everyone has their own problems to deal with and it’s not a good idea to judge someone based on their actions. Everyone needs to be more understanding towards one another in this world to maintain peace and prevent bullying.
Help others – If you see someone is being bullied, try to help. For example, if someone is spreading rumors about someone else, tell the bully to stop. If you can’t, then look for ways to protect the victim and report the incident.
Keep your accounts protected – change passwords on a regular basis to keep your accounts protected. Do not share your passwords with your friends or anyone. Also, use password protection tools on your phone.
Don’t post personal information online – Social media has become a highly advanced tool when it comes to sharing information. Whatever you post online can be visible to anyone, including those who may have an intention to hurt you. So the best thing you can do to prevent online bullying is to protect your personal information. Don’t share your address, passwords, name of school or phone numbers online. Also, the pictures you post online must be secure. The same should be done for other’s personal information as well. Don’t post pictures or personal information of your friends and other people. If you have to upload their pictures, seek their permission first.
Use privacy settings – when posting photos, videos or other content on your social networking account, make sure that you have enabled privacy settings. This will ensure that only the intended audience is able to view the content. You must also keep checking your privacy settings because some social sites can change their policies.
Educate yourself – online bullying can have dire consequences so it is always important to be educated about how it works and what you can do to prevent it. Apart from the above mentioned online bullying prevention tips, you can read other available information on the internet and stay safe.
Educate other people – some people can be extremely vulnerable to online bullying. These are those people who have limited information about how electronic technology works, the risks associated with it and how they can keep themselves safe. So if you know of someone who may be vulnerable, offer help and advice. Even if your school doesn’t have a good policy on online bullying, talk to the administration so measures can be implemented to fight the problem. Spread the word about online bullying prevention tips so others know what to do if they become a victim of it.
Lastly, parents must always be there to help their children in times of need. Most of the time, children hesitate to tell their parents if they are being bullied online. So if parents notice any kind of change in their children’s behavior, they must talk to their children calmly and try to get to the root cause of the problem so they can prevent the online bullying. They must work with their child and try to keep their child safe from online risks and problems.
Parents must always act thoughtfully because it is concerns their children. Responding to situations publicly may intensify the issue and this is the reason parents must always look for a well though out solution to handle the problem where their kids are involved.