What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber bullying is a form of harassing or threatening people deliberately, using online technology and social media. This harassment can take the form of humiliation, torment, or embarrassment of any sort. Cyber influence involves children, as opposed to adults. When adults are involved in such activities, it becomes cyber stalking and cyber harassment. However, with cyber influence, the harassment is perpetrated by a child on another. The parties involved are minors.
Types of Cyber Bullying –
Cyber bullying can broadly be categorized as follows –
• Direct attacks – In this category, the threats and messages are sent to the victims directly. Some of the means used in direct attacks of cyber bullying include text messaging, blogging, sending images and messages via email, internet polling, and impersonation, among others.
• Proxy cyber influence – Here, the perpetrator uses the help of others to attack the victim. The accomplices involved may or may not be aware that they are part of a cyber act. Some of the means used to cyber bully children using proxies include the use of ‘warning’ and ‘notify’ buttons on websites. There are also cases where the cyber influence poses as the victim initially, to launch the attack on the intended victim.
How do you prevent or put a stop to cyber bullying?
Here are some tactics and techniques that can help to make sure that your child is neither a perpetrator, nor a victim, of this kind of bullying –
• Education is the most powerful weapon we have against all evil. And the end to cyber bullying, like charity, begins at home. Educate your child about the causes, the consequences, and the gravity of cyber influence.
• Be friends with them, so that they feel comfortable enough to approach you when something goes wrong online. Since most parents are strict when it comes to these kinds of things, children shy away from approaching them when something like this happens, for the ear of being blamed or punished. Instead, they try to deal with it on their own, and end up in greater problems. It is one of the important things to remember.
• You can even encourage the schools your children go to, to begin a workshop or an awareness program to enlighten the kids on the various dark aspects of cyber influence. This way, you can be certain that all the kids your child interacts with are also aware of and enlightened about the concept of cyber influence.