Bullying has been an age-old occurrence in society, a troubling constant, that many children as well as grown ups have to deal with. This modern age of technology has only served to aggravate this problem.
Where earlier bullying used to be confined to a few places, and restricted to a limited amount of time, now bullies have access to their victims 24/7. Across platforms, time zones and locality. The number of ways an individual can fall prey to these threats is enormous.
What is Cyber Bullying ?
Bullying is Aggressive and Unwanted behavior. Bully (Person who is bullying) creates an imbalance of power, his repetitive aggressive actions (Bullying) often lead to emotional as well as Physical Effects on victims.
Bullying includes actions such as threatening, spreading rumors about someone on purpose, making hurtful comments, abusing verbally as well as physically. This type of behavior is repetitive by Bully.
Cyber Bullying is a form of harassment over Cyberworld. Cyber bullying is done by the means of electronic devices such as Mobile Phones, smartphones, Computer.
For you to be safe from bullying, you need to know and recognize incidents of cyber bullying.
These are namely
- Anonymous Harassment
- Threats of Doxxing
- Public Ridicule
To keep people safe from these threats is important. But first, we need to know how technology has enhanced the classic bully. Smartphones have enabled us to stay connected to the world at all times, but what most forget to realize is that they have also allowed the world to be in constant connection with us, even if we don’t want it.
To name a few examples, someone is circulating a morphed picture of you or someone you know on your Messenger Group, a few guys are making fun of you or your friend on Social Media, A Stranger is posting mean comments on your Social Media feed, Someone is threatening you or eve-teasing you over your actions.
One severe factor about Cyber Bullying is, it is not restricted to certain premises. Also, the rumor/image/message that has been spread on the Internet, does not leave its footprints even after removal. It lingers on the web as well as inside the mind of a Victim. It affects the victim emotionally, sometimes in a greater extent than normal Bullying.
Keeping Your Children Safe
Talk to your children about the internet. Parents can talk to their children about the pros and cons of the internet without shutting down communication channels. Make sure they know that they can come to you if they face any kind of online harassment, stalking, or bullying.
If Your child has suddenly started to spend most of his time avoiding family members and you get the intuition that he is emotionally disturbed, then one of the possible reasons may be that he is being bullied.
As mentioned before, Parents need to have a communicating and open relationship with children so that they can discuss anything freely, without any fear. Parents need to develop and maintain trust between children such that whenever a child faces something, he confronts it in front of parents without hesitation.
Educate Children about the Internet
In this technological era, the exposure to a Cyber Crime is also increasing extensively, Today, most of the children have access to their own Smartphones, Personal Computers and other Similar digital devices since High School.
Children try to seek answers on the Internet that they are afraid to ask their parents, often due to lack of communication and trust.
Restricting a child from using completely a Smartphone or use Internet is not a good Solution. Apparently, they can still access the Cyber World from elsewhere if not from their home or personal devices. Not letting a child use a Smartphone might lead to grow a feeling of parents being overprotective, this can lead to shutting down the communication between children and parents and might result in conflicts.
Although the Internet is a vast source of Information, not everything and not everyone on the Internet can be trusted. Instead of asking children to give up the use Internet, children can be educated to differentiate between good and bad stuff.
As said, Prevention is better than Cure. Even after discussing what is good and what is not, Children may visit the websites, see the content that is harmful or not appropriate, or they might receive messages on their smartphones that are nothing but of online harassment, calling names, mean comments. Children might feel embarrassed to confront it in front of Parents, In such cases It is a good Idea to keep track of Child’s activities with consent if required.
Tracking apps can be used to keep track of which websites the child is visiting recently, who a child has been communicating with and other necessary Information.