What is Cyber bullying:
Cyber bullying is any form of bullying which takes place online. Most young people will experience it or see it at some time. In a recent survey on national bullying helpline, 56% of young people said they have seen others be bullied online and 42% have felt unsafe online. Cyber bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it can go viral very fast.
Types of bullying:
There are many different ways that bullying online can take place. Some examples are:
Flaming – is an intense, extreme argument usually over instant messages or email and does this to cause reactions and enjoy the sensation that someone is getting distressed.
Harassment – This involved bullies sending offensive messages targeted at an individual or group. They often send repeated messages of hatred, not just one or two.
Outing and Trickery – Sharing another’s secrets or tricking someone into revealing embarrassing information.
Impersonation – This includes hacking another’s email or social media to post embarrassing material.
Denigration – This is when someone may send information about another person that is fake, damaging and untrue. So, an example would be spreading fake rumours and gossip.
Cyber Stalking – This is the act of repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm, harassment, intimidating messages or engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for his or her safety.
Exclusion – This is when others intentionally leave someone out of a group such as group messages, only apps, gaming sites etc. This is also a form of social bullying and a very common method.
Cyber bullying has become as much of a problem for adults, as it is for teenagers or children. In fact, adults can be far more adept at hiding their online identity – and far more malicious and sophisticated in the way they use technology to harm others. The real life impact of an internet based, adult hate campaign can be devastating – cyberbullying, reputation attacks and harassment online have all seen lives lost, careers and businesses damages, social and professional reputations destroyed, and entire families broken beyond repair.
Unfortunately, removing ourselves from the internet and the connected online world is not a realistic option. Even if we personally choose not to use the internet, that doesn’t stop others talking about us online, and if they wanted to – damage us online too.
There are prevention methods that can minimise the chances of getting cyber bullied but will not necessarily stop it from happening completely.
You could change your privacy settings on your social media accounts in order to limit what other people can see, this will stop people gaining access to your personal information and anything they could use as “ammunition” for their online abuse. You could also ensure everybody you have on your social media accounts are friends, family or people that you trust only.
Also, if someone does start sending you instant messages on social media that would cause distress, you can block them so that you do not see or hear from them again.
If you are experiencing cyber bullying online call the National Bullying Helpline on:
0300 323 0169 or 0845 22 55 787
Here are some links on advice on what to do if you are dealing with bullying at work: