Society & Culture

Help Your Kids From Becoming A Victim Of Cyberbullying

Cyber BullyingIn these times, bullying is no longer limited to just street corners or within school compounds. Technology has made it possible for bullying to cross the boundaries and take place at anytime and anywhere, through electronic mails, text messages, cell phones, and via the Internet on social media websites. Cyber bullying can take place at any hour, throughout 24 hours in a day and throughout the week, with no respite and sometimes involving thousands of people online. It is a devastating experience to go through cyber bullying and often leaves long lasting scars and trauma on the victim’s persona. Young victims, especially children are often devastated, dispirited, furious, chagrined and sometimes even suicidal with the effects of cyber bullying leaving them deeply distrustful of the people around them.
It is important to note that no kind or types of bullying should ever be tolerated and that your child needs to be equipped mentally and present a strong disposition to deal with the growing issue of cyber bullying.
Kids and teens these days use various and imaginative methods to cyber bully their victims, depending upon the technology available at hand. Ranging from delivering hurtful, derisive or menacing messages via instant messaging, e-mail, text messages or hacking into the e-mail account of the victim or infiltrating into their online identity — only to demean and humiliate their victims — cyber bullies target their casualty and cause misery on the targeted individual.
Boys and girls cyber bully in different ways and it is important to understand how they do so and what methods they employ to make their victims suffer. Boys bully by sending text messages that contain crude sexual implications known as ‘sexting’ or terrorizing texts threatening physical injury. On the other hand, girls commonly torment by mud-slinging and spreading fabricated stories or rumours, exposing secrets with malicious intent, excluding the victim from all forms of electronic communication including e-mails, buddy groups etc. and poking fun of the target in public circles.
Help Kids From Becoming A Victim Of CyberbullyingIf your child has been made a target by cyber bullies, it is extremely critical not to react to any of the texts, online posts, messages or any form of electronic communication written about your child, irrespective of how untrue or hurtful it might be. By responding to such malicious individuals, you will only make the situation worse by giving the cyber bullies the attention that they are seeking thus provoking them further, and giving them the satisfaction that they have been seeking all along. More importantly, do not try to seek revenge by becoming like them and posting hateful messages on their sites. This could result in exacerbating the problem and leading to grave legal consequences. The best way to respond to such individuals online is by:
•    Keeping evidence of all the messages received by the cyber bullies. Maintain a log and save all the texts, URL sites, screenshots, webpages, messages etc. and report to a higher authority who will be able to take swift action against them. Inform other family members and share the evidence with school counselors, teachers and guardians involved in the development of your child. It is important to report such incidents and make it known to people around, as not doing so will only cause the cyber bully to become even more bold and aggressive.
•    If there are texts or messages conveying threats, physical harm, or sexual nature it must be reported to a legal authority, such as the police. With strong evidence at your disposal, you will be able to prosecute the cyber bully’s actions by law and prevent it from taking place again.
•    Prevent all forms of communication from the cyber bully with your child by deleting and blocking their contacts from the e-mail address book, cell phone listings, social media contacts and any form of electronic communication. Send evidence of their activities and report their online behaviour to their Internet service provider and any other websites that they are using to target the victim.
Having the victim around a trusted circle that he/she can turn to for reassurance, motivation and comfort will bolster his/her resilience when being cyber bullied.

About Manmohan Hebbar

I am the founder and director of and chief editor at

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