Cyberbullies are wreaking havoc on the internet, leaving their victims often feeling powerless and desperate. Here are some valuable pointers on how you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
Quick Tips:• Check your privacy settings: they are there to help you manage your online experience in a positive way.
• Disable unwanted location services: you don’t really want the world to know where you live or play.
• Think before you post: you can never permanently erase something that has been published on the internet.
Doxing: to exact revenge, threaten or destroy the privacy of individuals by making their personal information public, including home address, phone numbers, links to social media accounts & other private data.
Creating a webpage, posting comments, rumours, photos etc. about someone online that are mean, hurtful or embarrassing.
Threatening to hurt someone or telling them to kill themselves.
How to Handle Bullying:
Don’t respond or encourage: More often than not what your bully is looking for is some reaction from you. If you don’t give them any, it’s likely they’ll leave you alone.
Don’t retaliate: If you retaliate, you are becoming a bully yourself! Remember, you only have control over how you react.
Save any evidence: The one upside about cyberbullying is that it happens through technology, which means you can keep the evidence. If someone is sending you mean messages, screenshot them. You can retain them as proof!
Talk to a trusted adult: You deserve backup. Adults are the best people to do that. If you experience bullying, talk to a parent! If you’re not able to do that, talk to an adult at school, counsellors will know how to handle your situation. Schools usually have a way you can anonymously report bullying if you’re scared of people knowing you talked to someone.
The best way to stop cyberbullying is to recognize it when it starts. Educate yourself and your friends! Learn what cyberbullying is and how you can help others who are dealing with it.
Stay safe online: Make sure you are the only one who has access to your passwords. Yes, even your best friend shouldn’t know them! Make sure you log out of public computers as well. Be careful what you post, if it goes on the internet, it’s accessible in some form forever, even if you think it’s deleted!
Finally, don’t open messages or emails if you don’t know the person who sent them. They could be inappropriate messages or even computer viruses!
Written by Craig Rosewarne (Managing Director, Wolfpack Information Risk (Pty) Ltd)