Cyber bullying has become a real problem on the web. Every year it seems the amount of cyber bullying rises. So, the following are three ways you can stop cyber bullying:
1. Do what you can to identify who the cyber bully is. Their power is in their anonymity. If you find out who’s bullying your child, they lose their power. Once a cyber bully has a name, you can contact them directly, let them know you’re going to take specific legal action against them and talk to their parents, among other actions. So, how do you identify your cyber bully? Ask questions that might lead to their identity, look through their profile for clues, trace their email address or contact the provider of the platform they are bullying you on, such as Facebook, to get information about who they are. While this may require a search warrant from the police, some sites will deal with it internally by shutting down the person’s account.
2. Block the bully. While you may not be able to stop the cyber bully from bullying in general, you can stop them from bullying you by blocking them. For example, if you are using AIM, you just block the username they are on. Of course they can use other names to contact you but if you block them enough times, they’re going to go bother someone else. How you stop them, or block them, depends on what site or platform you are using. If you are being bullied by someone’s comments on your blog, make your blog private. If you are being bullied on Facebook, drop the person as a friend, and change your privacy settings so that they can’t find you. If you are being harassed in a chat room, stay out of that chat room. If someone is harassing you via email, delete their email address, and send all of their emails to junk. Learn about how to protect yourself and your privacy while on specific sites or in chat rooms. If you discover that a site does not have strong security protocols in place that site should be avoided.
3. Stand up for yourself by threatening legal action. Get support from a friend, parent or school counselor. Talk to your parents, and the bully’s parents, if you know who’s bullying you. No one should ever have to face a bully alone, so don’t. Tell someone what is going on, and get their help to make it stop. Depending on the severity of the cyber bullying, you can take legal action and get a restraining order, among other things. Cyber bullies get their power from their anonymity and because they know you fear them. If you are able to identify them and threaten to fight back with legal action, they will usually disappear rather quickly.
Everyone should be able to enjoy the Internet and all that it has to offer without interference from a cyber bully. Take the steps listed above and protect yourself from being bullied online.