In today’s world of social media, it becomes very easy for people to bully, embarrass and intimidate someone while hiding behind the mask of anonymity. The reason cyberbullying is one of the most harmful consequences of technology is that it can reach a person anytime, anywhere. It’s very difficult, sometimes impossible to trace the cyber bully.
Cyberbullying is defined as “the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.”
Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or comments on public platforms, rumors generated and posted on social networking sites, embarrassing pictures, videos, websites and fake profiles to defame the person. We all have fallen prey to cyberbullying of some form at some point in our lives. Or have friends that have suffered from such abuse. ut how to avoid cyberbullying? Are there any ways we can save ourselves from getting bullied of social media, the internet. Let’s take a look.
How Not to Fall Prey to Cyber Bullying?
It can have grave consequences on people’s minds and lives. A lot of people who fall prey to cyberbullying suffer from depression and anxiety and that can lead to the imbibement of suicidal thoughts. So here I have compiled a few tips which will give you ways by which we can prevent cyberbullying from affecting us:
1. Do not respond to the trolls.
First of all, it’s best to not respond to bullying. By retaliating, we give the impression that we were affected by the bullying. And that gives the bullies a sense of power over you. It’s best to keep calm. Also, sometimes retaliation can lead to a chain of mean comments which makes you a bully yourself.
You should get out of the situation as soon as you can. If your safety is at risk and you’re getting threats, you should contact law enforcement agencies. If the threats have any credibility, the police will formally look into the matter.
2. Always save the evidence against the bully.
The good thing about social media platforms is that the evidence of bullying can be saved via screenshots unlike other forms of bullying, that are based on verbal complaints and no proof making people difficult to punish the culprits due to lack of evidence.
Contact the platform at which you’re being bullied. For example, if you’re being bullied at Instagram, contact Instagram to complain regarding the profile of the bully. Familiarise yourself with Privacy settings on each platform and don’t make your posts and personal information public to be easily accessible to bullies.
3. Ask for help from someone you trust.
Reach out to people you can trust in case the bully is getting to your head. In case you are confused, ask for direction from a friend or an adult you trust.
4. Ask the bully to stop.
If you want you can directly ask the person to stop and inform him/her of the consequences that his continued crude behaviour can have.
5. Use technological tools to stop getting harassed.
All apps and social media platforms allow the person to have an option to block the person that you find intimidating in any manner. You can use that tool stop getting harassing texts and comments from the bully.
You can also report his/her profile and give feedback about the kind of abuse that you faced through that profile. Although this wouldn’t make much of a difference, at least you would stop facing harassment. If you face threats to your safety, you should contact the concerned police authority.
6. Password protect all your information.
Password protect all your social media accounts, and never share the passwords with anyone, even your closest friends. You never know when friends turn foes or vice versa. Password protect your phones as well so that no one gets access to your accounts at any cost.
You should always be mindful of what you post online. Never post embarrassing stuff or something that hurts others. If we take care and be kind to others, we’ll be able to avoid cyber bullying to a great extent. Do not open emails from unknown sources and do not download any unnecessary attachments.
Avoid free media downloads from unknown illegal software because they’re not regulated and can act as a window to potential cyber bullying. Be aware of the privacy settings of all apps and social media platforms that you use. It’s better to keep the information regarding your own self guarded against people you have no connection with.
8. Be aware of the legal rights that you have against cyber bullying.
Offences such as bullying, terrorism, breach of confidentiality, stalking, etc that are committed in the cyber space are punishable and are considered just as harmful as these acts in the real world. One should be aware of the laws against such crimes in your own countries.
That is about it, I guess. We have discussed various things which will help you deal with cyber bullying. Hopefully, these will help you deal with such problems.
If you found this article helpful then share it with your friends and help them to stay away from cyberbullying and cyber harassment. Don’t forget to rate the article too. 🙂