Stay informed to protect yourself and children!
Cyberbullying is best defined as the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature. Over the past decade or so, cyber bullying has become more and more common due to the constant increase in technological use. To help parents stay informed about Cyberbullying, a list of common types of cyber bullying is provided below:
Harassment occurs when the bully sends offensive and threatening messages via electronic forms of communication to his or her target. Multiple people may even gang up to send thousands of messages to the victim at once.
Impersonation or Fake Profiles
Impersonation is when someone creates a fake profile in another person’s name or hacks into another person’s account. The cyber bully pretends to be his or her victim online, and tarnishes the victim’s reputation.
Flame wars involve the repeated exchanges of “angry, rude, or obscene [electronic] messages” between individuals.
Denigration is an attempt to damage the victim’s reputation or ruin the friendships he or she has, by spreading unfounded gossip or rumours online.
Exclusion occurs when someone has been intentionally excluded or singled out from online group activities such as group conversations and multiplayer games.
Outing occurs when the cyber bully uses technological means to publicly “[share] private information without permission with the intent to hurt” the victim.
Dissing is the act of sending or posting cruel information about your child online, to damage their reputation or friendships with others.
It can also include posting material online such as photos, screenshots or videos. The cyberbully wants to put your child down, so draws attention to what they are saying about them to make other people think they’re not cool. The cyberbully is usually someone your child knows. This can make it really upsetting.
The cyber bully may employ methods to trick his or her victim into believing “they are speaking in confidence with a close friend so that they share sensitive information”, such as secrets or humiliating information. Once the cyber bully has obtained the information, he or she will use it against the victim by publicly disseminating it to others, “in an attempt to shame the victim.” The two forms of cyber bullying – outing and trickery – often go hand-in-hand.
Cyber stalking is a form of harassment. Victims usually receive threatening and intimidating electronic messages from cyber bullies. Victims may often start to believe “the intimidator can move offline and harm them physically,” causing them to be overly suspicious of their surroundings as well.
Catfishing is when another person steals your child’s online identity, usually photos, and re-creates social networking profiles for deceptive purposes.
A catfish is someone who wants to hide who they are. They will look at your child’s social networking profile and take any information they want to create a fake persona. Sometimes they will only take your child’s photos and use fake names and information.
The Cyberbullying Problem
What you can do
Problem: If has been a crime or someone is at immediate risk of harm.
Solution: Call 911.
Problem: Someone is feeling hopeless, helpless, thinking of suicide.
Solution: To talk to someone now:
- Call 1-800-273-8255(TALK)
- Chat with Lifeline
- Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
For Spanish speakers:
- Call 1-888-628-9454
- Visit Ayuda en Español: Lifeline
For deaf/hard of hearing:
- Call 1-800-799-4889
Free and confidential support resources are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Problem: If someone is acting differently than normal, such as always seeming sad or anxious, struggling to complete tasks, or not being able care for themselves.
Solution: Find a local counselor or other mental health services