How To Stop And Discourage Cyber Bullying
The internet has become virtual part and parcel of our daily lives. We find various use of the internet for numerous purposes: shopping, advertising, banking, voting, connecting with friends and families among others. Like every other good thing there are always people who exploit it for bad intentions and the internet is no exception. The internet also has a dark and sometimes frightening side to it: comprising of fraudsters, identity thieves, hackers, character sabotages and the cruel cyber bullies.
Today Innov8tiv Magazine will give you some heads-up on how to deal with cyber bullying. If not handled careful, the victims of cyber bullying could feel embarrassed, depressed and in some extreme cases there has been recorded incidences of young girls committing suicide just because some humiliating comments made about them online. The following are some tips on how to discourage or stop cyber bullying:
- Vet your online friends carefully and constantly: You should connect with people you actually know. There are some individuals who open fake social media accounts just for the purpose of harassing, snooping or stocking on others. Also constantly vet your current friends to ensure that you’ve connected to people who you know their character and possibly can vouch for them as being good friends, otherwise delete, unfriend or block those whom you don’t know.
- Change your privacy setting to minimize your exposure: Most of the social media sites allow users to control the users’ online profile exposure. You should categorize your contacts and how you interact with each category: for instance on Facebook, you can have set some “Close Friends” who can see your online activities that are private in nature and you can have the “General Friends” category that can only see things you are comfortable to share with the online public friends.
- Always and Constantly be on the lookout for fake profiles: There are certain people for one reason or another open a fake profile account, and use them to send messages, photos or videos pretending to be someone they are not. As a social media user if you suspect a certain user account is fake you should report it to that social media’s system administrator to investigate the matter.
- Always keep the evidence of bullying: If someone post something offensive on social media whether is on public or private platform, if you have to or can delete, first ensure that you take a screen shot of the post or message before you delete it. This may serve as evidence when you seek legal address to the cyber bullying and the relevant authorities will take this evidence more serious as opposed to a word of mouth.
- Change your online ID or name: In the worse-case scenario where you have been having a persistent stocker or somebody that harasses you, you should delete them or block them and soon afterwards change your ID, that way you will be making it hard for them to find you the next time.
- Manage your reactions cleverly: When somebody sends you an offensive message or posts something offensive about you. Try as much as possible not to encourage the flame to grow. You can achieve this by not responding to the message and at all cost don’t initiate an engagement of argument and exchange of insults, as this will only make things worse and chances are, you are also going to do or say something that will be considered bullying/harassing/insulting as well.
- Never share your private personal details online: This is especially when you are interacting with strangers, or people whom you don’t know very well. Giving such details as you home phone number, your home physical address and personal sensitive information. You never know how the other party will use the information that you give them.
Cyber bullying can be prosecuted by law and offenders are discouraged from engaging in such acts. Any user who experiences cyber bullying is highly encouraged to take necessary legal address to the matter.