What do cyber bullies do? The basic answer to this question is that cyber bullies tease, harass, stalk, threaten and taunt others over the internet. However, there is a lot more to it than that. Following is an overview of how cyber bullies behave online and the avenues they use to bully people, along with some helpful tips on how parents can deal with bullying issues that arise.
– Spreading lies and half truths about the victim to others via the internet
– Sending embarrassing real life photos or photoshopped photos of the victim around, poking fun at the person and encouraging others to do so
– Taunting a victim directly
– Making threats
– Blackmailing is yet another common technique. A number of cyber bullies threaten to cause further harassment if the victim does not do the bully’s homework.
Mobile phones are the most common medium used by cyber-bullies to harass their victims. Most children have a phone and sending text messages is all too easy. However, cyber bullies also harass their victims via social media sites and email.
Thankfully, there are many things that a parent can do about cyber bullying. While the following courses of action will not completely eliminate all forms of cyber bullying from a child’s life, they will greatly minimize bullying and help a child learn how to deal with the bullying he or she gets in a safe, mature manner.
First of all, parents should teach children to guard themselves online. Children and young people should not have social media friends that they do not know in real life. A “friend” who harasses, teases and taunts your child online should be blocked. This can easily be done with a number of social media accounts and email servers. It is also relatively easy to block certain phone numbers on the child’s mobile phone.
For the most part, young people should be taught to ignore mild forms of bullying. Comments such as “You Suck!”, “You’re a….!” and “I hate you” should not impact a child’s self esteem if the child understands that he or she is loved unconditionally by parents and family members. Giving your child a healthy sense of self-esteem will protect him or her from experiencing depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia and other severe symptoms that commonly arise among bullying victims.
Find out why a child is being bullied. It is not uncommon for victims of bullying to turn around and bully others, so you may be wise to see if your child has indeed been harassing others over the internet. It has also been noted that some cyber bullies will hack into an innocent victim’s account and send mean messages to others via this account. The bully’s victims will then turn on the person whom they think sent the messages. If this is the case, notify the social networking site about the unauthorized entry, help your child explain what has happened to his or her friends (and their parents if need be) and then assist your child in choosing a strong password (one that includes symbols, numbers and capital letters).
Report serious forms of cyber-bullying to law enforcement officials. Statistics clearly show that up to 70% of cyber-bullies engage in “real world” bullying as well, so do not assume that a bully who threatens physical violence against your child is only making things up. Children should report threats of this nature to their parents, and parents should in turn report this form of bullying to police. If you know the bully goes to the same school as your child, report the cyberbullying to the school principal. If the school does not take appropriate action, you may seriously need to consider moving your child to another educational institution.
So, What Do Cyber Bullies do for real and how can we fight them?
Cyber-bullies use a variety of techniques and strategies to harass, humiliate, embarrass, taunt and threaten their victims. Those who engage in cyber-bullying may do so via the phone, email, social media sites and/or via email. Thankfully, parents and young people do not have to put up with any form of online harassment. As the measures outlined above clearly demonstrate, you can stop a cyber-bullying his or her tracks and thus enable your child to enjoy his or her time online without fear of being tormented by one or more cyber-bullies.