Cyberbullying is online harassment. Children and teens are bullied, embarrassed, and/or threatened, by their peers, through emails, instant messaging, websites, web blogs, or cell phone text messaging.
Most acts of cyberbullying go unnoticed by parents. Too many kids are afraid or embarrassed to tell their parents what is going on or fear what the bully might do if confronted by adults. No one knows why kids bully each other but as parents you want to encourage your children to talk to you.
Types of Cyberbullying
Threatening or Degrading Emails
Cell phone cameras are used to take pictures of someone in the locker room, bathroom, or in a situation that can be
misinterpreted. This picture can be sent, through a mass email to hundreds without a way to control who sees it.
Bullies can sign up a victim's email address to receive junk mail (especially from porn sites). Parents can misinterpret their child is visiting these sites because their child is receiving these emails.
Emails threatening bodily harm can be sent out to victims.
Instant Messaging Wars
Kids can send nasty messages through their instant messenger.
A group of kids can gang up and send repeated text messages to one phone. This will increase their bill and make parents
Bullies can create a website to degrade or endanger a victim. These websites are created to insult this person or group.
If the website includes personal information (email address, phone numbers, or a home address) it can make them an easy target for online predators to find them.
Kids can post lies or embarrassing information about others on their blogs (online journals).
Posing as the Victim
- The bully can create a username that is similar to the victim's. While using the name they can send out messages that
can offend or anger others.
- They can steal the victim's password (this can lock them out of their account) and chat with people.
- The real danger is if they can encourage online predators (as the victim) or anger hate groups to attack the
- With the stolen password they can change the victim's profile to attract unwanted attention.
- Tell your parents or a trusted adult. If they do nothing keep telling them until they do something.
- Do not erase messages you receive. They can be helpful when you take action against the bully.
- Block all communication from bullies (instant messages, emails, etc.)
- Understand what you say online can come back to haunt you. Be aware that not all online conversations are private.
Bullies can copy, print, email anything you say or any pictures you send.
- Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) because cyberbullying can violate the ISP's terms of service. If reported the bully's account can be suspended.