Know About Different Forms of Cyberbullying and Its Prevention
Teens are now digitally active more than ever. They are using their smartphones, they have access to the internet all the time, and what else do they need to be updated and entertained? You have provided them with such facilities because of their educational requirements and with it comes other perks. But, do all these perks feel safe to you? Like any other activity available on the internet, bullying also exists.
Bullying has taken a new advanced form now, which is cyberbullying. It is a more advanced way of teasing and harassing someone with the digital facilities available on both sides. Though it knows no age limit, it typically involves teens and tweens. They develop small grudges towards each other and take out on each other through every possible means. Several forms of cyberbullying can be experienced by any kid. Parents need to be very much aware of such things to protect their kids.
Forms of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is harassing, humiliating, and teasing through digital media. It can include texts, calls, videos, all social media platforms, and other means. Kids and adults who are desperate to harass someone can opt for any option. If you are worried that your kid might fall into this trap, you can enhance your knowledge about different forms of cyberbullying. Here are different ways through which a person can cyberbully another:
1. Impersonating Someone
- Making a screen name identical to that of the victims’ name and posting weird and inappropriate stuff while pretending to be a victim.
- Stealing the victim’s profile information like password and using that to chat with other people.
- Changing the victim’s profile to a more racist, inappropriate, and sexual profile.
- Posting rude and hurtful comments and posts while pretending to be the victim.
- Posing as a child molester, dating geek on the forums pretending to be the victim.
- Catfishing – making a fake relationship with another person while pretending to be the victim.
2. Creating Blogs, Websites, and More
- Developing a separate website or blog just to humiliate a person by posting inappropriate stuff about that person there.
- Spreading rumors, and gossips about that person through those websites and blogs.
- Creating inappropriate polls about the victim that are meant to humiliate him.
- Posting the information about the victim that might have been shared in confidential with you.
- Creating a very insulting and humiliating blog.
- Posting rude comments about the victim in online gaming.
3. Harassing Someone
- Using social media sites to post humiliating and wrong information about the victim.
- Using instant messaging and calls to threaten, humiliate, and embarrass the victim.
- Participating in the posts where bullies gang up against a single person and humiliate them as much as they can.
- Taking degrading or nude pictures of the victim in somewhere private, and then posting them in public without their permission.
- Threatening and blackmailing the victim by using inappropriate photos of him/her.
- Sending mass text messages or emails that include degrading photos and videos of the victim. This is also called sexting and there is no way to control it once it is sent out.
- Shaming someone online using photographs. It can include simpler photographs and criticizing them for the way they dress or walk, or something like that.
5. Video Shaming
- Creating a video of someone where they are doing something humiliating and then posting it online.
- Recording a bully accident like kicking, punching, hitting, and then sharing it in public to increase the humiliation.
- Recording an emotional incident that might include aggression or upsetting behavior. Posting that video in public to further hurt the victim.
Several other forms of cyberbullying can be noticed. If you happen to observe these things at the right time, you can protect your kids. But, you have to think like a teenager to know what limits they can cross.
What Can Parents Do?
Parents are worried about their kids and there is nothing wrong with it. With the humiliation and embarrassment, they face out there, kids can become mentally and physically disturbed. It is only a matter of time before they seek to self-harm ways to deal with such situations. Parents must do something to save them from this. Here is what you can do:
Once you have given them the smartphone and access to the internet, educate them about its use. You can’t just leave them to explore as much as they want. It is okay for you to give them some freedom but at the same time, you do want to protect them as well. For that purpose, educate them about the threats that they might face online.
Talk to them about cyberbullying and its different forms. Teach them that they shouldn’t share inappropriate stuff with others over the internet and worse, they shouldn’t trust any strangers. The very first mistake that kids do, can make them face real harsh consequences.
Earn their trust and make them believe that you are there for them no matter what happens. You won’t humiliate them or embarrass them for anything that they might have done wrong.
Parental Control Apps
Using parental control apps is the necessity of this time as it helps you in smart parenting. Kids are very reluctant in sharing when they are embarrassed or humiliated. They hardly find the courage to share it will anyone let alone their parents. So. What would you do in this time?
A parental control app can help you know what they are into. Their troubles and issues will be clear to you. You can easily monitor their message logs, call logs, social media websites, and stuff. Because it all starts from there, you can easily know where they are getting into trouble.
Don’t be shy about coming forward and help them. Your responsibility is to help them in hard times and not to humiliate them like the others. They must feel like they can trust you and you can teach them to handle any tough situation.