What is Cyber Bullying?

There are many forms of cyber bullying, including:

  • The sending of aggressive, threatening or mean messages to another person’s email or cell phone
  • The spreading of hurtful and/or malicious rumors about a person, using web sites, email accounts, social networks or cell phones.
  • The stealing of a person’s cyber identities (e.g., email account) and their use to attack, threaten or malign this person or others.
  • The use of real or fake identities to initiate, sustain and develop sexually-oriented interaction with youth or adults on the web.
  • The use of websites, email accounts or cell phones to post, disseminate and distribute unflattering or sexually oriented images about a person.

The Numbers:

Though cyber bullying is a relatively new social phenomenon, the statistics are quite alarming:

  • Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.
  • More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyber threats online.
  • Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet.
  • Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.

Source: i-Safe Foundation

The Reaction:

Teens, adults, parents, schools, social organizations, web-based organizations and the authorities can and should fight cyber bullying.

  • Awareness is a necessary condition – Learn, educate yourself and your environment and do not ignore signs of cyber bullying
  • Educate your kids about cyber bullying, explain why and how it is wrong and potentially hurtful
  • Make and enforce clear rules designed to mitigate against committing and being a victim of cyber bullying
  • Inculcate in your family, organization, company, a culture of ethical cyber culture
  • Define clear rules of “do” and “don’t” pertaining to cyber behavior
  • Create an atmosphere of openness, conducive to discussion, disclosure and reporting of cyber bullying
  • Monitor teen and youngsters’ online activities
  • Report signs of cyber bullying to the authorities, to school administrators and to social network operators
  • Encourage teens never to share personal information online or to meet someone they only know online
  • Keep the computer in a shared space like the family room, and do not allow teens to have Internet access in their own rooms

The Consequences:

Many cyber bullies think that bullying others online is funny. Cyber bullies may not realize the consequences for themselves of cyber bullying. The things teens post online now may reflect badly on them later when they apply for college or a job. Cyber bullies can lose their cell phone or online accounts for cyber bullying. Also, cyber bullies and their parents may face legal charges for cyber bullying, and if the cyber bullying was sexual in nature or involved sexting, the results can include being registered as a sex offender. Teens may think that if they use a fake name they won’t get caught, but there are many ways to track some one who is cyber bullying.

http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html

Resources:

Cyber Bullying Statistics that may Shock You!

http://www.cyberbullyalert.com/blog/2008/08/cyber-bullying-statistics-that-may-shock-you/

The Facts about Cyber Bullying

http://www.familysafecomputers.org/bullying.htm

Cyberbullying: Confronting the Modern Face of Bullying

http://www.healthline.com/health-feature/cyberbullying

 

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