Common Types of Cyberbullying – How to Deal with Them?
In the past years, bullying only used to take place face-to-face between the bullied and the bully. But, with time, technology has given it a new form which is known as ‘cyberbullying’. With the advancement of technology, there are different types of cyberbullying evolved.
“Cyberbullying is an intentional and deliberate attempt to cause harm to others through the means of internet and other digital technologies”
A survey conducted on 3,000 secondary school students by TOUCH Cyber Wellness suggested that one in every four students admitted that they have bullied their friends on online forums in the past years.
With technology on the rise, cyberbullying doesn’t have to face-to-face anymore. Even if you think that they are all safe and secure sitting with us at home, the kids might still be getting bullied by someone on their phones. Where parents are worried about this now more than ever, tracking those who are bullying their kids is like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are many of them out there with their identities anonymous or hidden.
Types of Cyberbullying
What we can do is make ourselves aware of the realities of cyberbullying. The ways it can happen to our kids and the shapes it has taken. Let’s dig into the types of cyberbullying we have around us that can harm our kids.
It usually involves sending threatening and offensive messages through SMS or any other form of communication through the phone. Sometimes, the bully sends thousands of messages to the victim that include threats and offensive language. Sometimes these acts induce some wrong actions by the victim that can seriously harm them physically.
Kids are impulsive. Once they get into an argument, they do everything to win. The same happens when they are playing multiplayer games, running for a leading position in the class, etc. Sometimes, such situations turn into heated arguments. Such escalated cases can turn into cyberbullying easily.
These are flame wars that are accompanied by rude, angry, and obscene messages. Such online fights take place on public forums, drawing the attention of people.
This is the type where the bully makes the victim believe they are talking to a close friend and that they can share anything with them. Once fooled, the victim shares personal and humiliating information with the bully. After extracting the information, the bully uses that information against the victim publicly to humiliate them.
Gathering a group of people who share a similar interest in the same place is a common thing now. Now, there are forums and online places for people who share similar interests. Also, the same is the case with the gaming groups. Exclusion is singling out an individual in these virtual groups.
While this doesn’t seem like much of a problem, but its impact can get worse. It induces a form of cyberbullying where the other people often dare to form especially bullying groups against that individual.
It is a form of cyberbullying where the bully spreads untrue rumors about the victim to ruin their friendships and relationships intentionally. In the most advanced form, the bullies can make blogs, websites, forums, or special platforms published skewed content to humiliate the victim.
Cyberstalking is a more severe form of harassment. The bully sends disparaging messages to the victim. Those messages are so intimidating and harassing that they induce fear in victims. Often victims start thinking that the other person can come out and hurt them physically which makes them over-suspicious regarding their surroundings.
Often close friends do such kinds of bullying. Friends usually joke around with each other by posting stupid stuff on behalf of each other on the internet just to have some fun. This fun can turn into cyberbullying easily. It is called fraping where a bully uses someone’s social media account to post something inappropriate with their name.
One single post done for fun can be turned into constant humiliation for the other. Sometimes, people get ready to commit suicide to avoid the constant embarrassment.
What Should Parents Do?
While parents are so much worried about this situation, there are a few things that they can do to keep their child secure. Although we usually don’t think that our child is hurting as they are seen happy with their phones in their hands. But, it won’t hurt to keep a check on them now and then. Because cyberbullying becomes so embarrassing sometimes that kids don’t even share it with the parents. So, what can parents do?
1. Educate Them
Education is so important. They might not be taught this in school, this is your responsibility to tell them how much their privacy matters and how should they choose friends. There are things that kids don’t consider on their own because they are just enjoying their lives. So, the parent must tell them that they need to be careful when they step out of the house.
2. Using Parental Control App
A parental control app can solve a lot of problems for the parents. The biggest problem that parents face these days is that their kids don’t share anything with them. A parental control app like SecureTeen will make sure you know what they are up to. It will show you if there is something wrong going on with the kids on social media or if they have searched for something unusual. You can keep track of their activities and everything on social media.
By monitoring them, you will know if everything is smooth or not. However, the ways to tackle this should be wise and fine. You mustn’t suffocate your kids as they won’t open up with you at all then. Trust them and teach them things that you feel are necessary.
Cyberbullying is a prevailing issue. And several cases have reported kids committing suicide due to this. It is the time to protect your kids and not to let them fall prey to this.