Did you ever get intimidated, bullied or harassed online? Did you ever notice somebody frequently leaving insulting comments on most of your posts? Did someone ever send you a text or voice message that seemed like a threat? If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, unluckily, you are one of thousands others who have to Cyberbullying.
The term “Cyberbullying” is being popularly used these days for any act of insulting, harassing, embarrassing or threatening someone online. In fact, this crime is not just rampant phenomenon within United States but it is happening all across the world where people are socially connected with each other.
Undoubtedly, there is an alarming situation as this heinous crime has invaded our society so badly. Just in case you or any member of your family or even friends have ever had to face any kind of Cyberbullying in your entire life, it is extremely crucial to take necessary steps to restrain this hazard from our society.
What Actually is Cyberbullying?
If you know about bullying during school or college days, it should not be difficult for you to understand Cyberbullying. It involves same degree of fear, threat, aggressive behavior and ruthlessness. The only difference is that in case of Cyberbullying, the bully does all his frolics on social networks, online communities, chat forums, SMS, voice messages, video messages, gaming portals etc.
According to Criminal Justice Division of New York the Cyberbullying is much more dangerous than traditional bullying. In physical incidents of bullying, the victim has chances to avoid the situation like he can quickly move away from the tormentor. However, in case of online bullying, the victim can always be hunted any time of day or even night.
The most dangerous part of Cyberbullying is that the tormentor can stay anonymous and the victim might never know who is harassing and threatening him. Even the bully may be weaker than the victim but he may take advantage of anonymity. The act of Cyberbullying may involve but not limited to the following:
- Every Chance to Disturb Victim: A tormentor takes every possible way to disturb the life of his victims and he actually enjoys bullying them.
- Threat on Live or Recorded Calls: He might threaten them on live audio or video calls or send them recorded chat and voice messages.
- Spread Fake News about Victim: He may also share his victims’ personal chats, photos and even videos. Besides, he may simply spread false news about victim by commenting and sharing fake posts.
- Force Victim Leave Online Community: He may try to harass someone in an online group or community and make him leave the group or remove him from the list.
- Disclose Someone’s Secrets: A culprit may be your own friend or someone who is close to you but doesn’t like you. He may create accounts on social networks with fake names and share your secret or personal information with others.
- Abuse Someone in YouTube Videos: He may use YouTube and other video sharing platforms to abuse and humiliate victim by sharing true or fake videos.
- Pretend to Be Victim’s Friend: A malicious mind person may pretend to be your friend, win your trust and when you share your personal thoughts, turn out to be an enemy.
Shocking Facts and Figures about Cyberbullying
If you have never had to face bullying in your academic life, you must be shocked to learn that 5 out of 10 students have to face one or the other type of bullying in their academic life.
More shocking news is that female students, working women and even high profile business women have to become targets of cyber bullying and the number of incidents occurs with them are more than double when compared to the male.
The most horrible part of all those crimes is that more than 90% of incidents are not even reported as the victims typically prefer to stay calm and quite due to the fear of being disgraced by the bully.
Now what’s most important to understand is that if the victims don’t report the incidents, how this dreadful crime would be curbed once for all? In fact, the impact of Cyberbullying is so powerful that the victims may feel it rest of his life.
The Life Long Impact of Cyberbullying
If someone frequently gets bullied online, he would usually have the feelings of fear and depression. He might not like to go outside or get mixed up with social gatherings. Besides, he might lose interest in his studies which would be resulted into bad grades in exams.
The above are just some of the very small consequences of online bullying and these can usually shoot up to higher levels. In extreme situation, a victim may start thinking about taking up his own life or the life of culprit.
You can easily find a number of horrible incidents which occurred only because of bullying and harassment. Various cases that took place in the past shocked the whole nation. Conversely most of the victims never find courage to go publicly either because they don’t want to be discussed by the others or their families stopped them doing this.
How to Fight Cyberbullying? 6 Useful Tips
If you or someone in your family or friends is a victim of Cyberbullying, it is time to stand up against it and help others to save their lives. Follow below given tips:
- Never Hide From Your Family or Friends: You don’t have to be afraid of sharing your grief with your friends, siblings or even parents because they love you and they will never leave you alone in your tough time.
- Ignore Messages and Comments: In many cases, tormentors send teasing or threatening messages to many users to catch their attention. But they target only those who respond and then they begin their evil game of Cyberbullying. Therefore, it is wise to ignore them as much as you can at least in the initial stage.
- Avoid Sharing Private Information Online: The hackers are always looking for those who often share their personal and other sensitive information online. They may steal your information, forward to others or misuse to put your privacy at a greater risk. Remember even very common information like your address, email address or a phone number can become a big disaster for you.
- Take Necessary Steps to Secure Your Privacy: Internet is an open place and you can’t stop someone to peep into your personal profiles until you secure your privacy. Every social network and apps have privacy settings which will enable you to prevent strangers get your info.
- Approach Crime Control Authorities: The best way to stop a crime is to stop it by approaching concerned authorities. For example, if you know that the bully is from your college, take the matter to college authorities or if you don’t know who is behind it, don’t feel hesitant to take the matter to your city’s crime control division.
- Don’t Remove Evidences of Cyberbullying: You might think of deleting hateful messages because they bother you. Never do it! Keep all the evidences readily available just in case the matter has to be taken to higher authorities for investigation of the harasser.
The incidents of Cyberbullying are quite common these days. So if you or someone else in your family or circle of friends is anxious and depressed due to cyber harassment, you must look for the solution. Don’t let those evils ruin your life or the life of your loved ones. Fight them, stop them and bring them to the justice.