What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is a kind of bullying that occurs online through devices and systems. It can happen via emails, text messages, phone calls, social media apps, or some websites. It includes humiliating someone or causing them embarrassment by sharing something private about them which no one else knows through one of the online platforms. Cyberbullying is also considered one of the crimes that have a law against it in our constitution.

We all know that popular social media apps don’t provide security when it comes to the photos or videos we are posting, and any stranger can easily see all the comments under them. Hence, all the content shared online takes a permanent place on the Internet and cannot be deleted even if the one whose information is shared wants to delete them. This public record of a user is now available to everyone who wishes to access it, and this can harm someone’s reputation if school/college or the job in which the user is going to work gets access to this.

Characteristics of Cyberbullying

There are three characteristics of cyberbullying that everyone should be aware of while using the Internet −

  • Once some child is suffering from cyber-bullying, it’s hard for him to stay away from it and find relief as the Internet is accessible to everyone 24x7. So the one who is getting bullied cannot take his mind off this as it allows anyone to communicate with you 24 hours a day.

  • The second characteristic, as mentioned above, is that most information which once available on the Internet stays there forever. There is no way to stop that information from spreading so, and this negative reputation of the one who is getting bullied can harm his life in the future when he is trying to get into school, colleges, jobs, etc.

  • It is even more hard to recognize that a child is going through cyber-bullying for his parents and teachers as, unlike any other bullying, it doesn’t give any physical bruises. It just affects a person’s mental health, which is very hard to notice.

In recent times, with the growing technology, cyber-bullying has become more prominent, and hence every kid who is using the Internet should be aware of this. It is possible only when each school teaches their student about cyber-bullying as one of the essentials. Each student should know the repercussions of bullying someone online, and also, they should know what the victim is supposed to do if they are the target of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is even more dangerous than physical bullying because it leaves a digital footprint behind, which stays forever on the Internet.

How to Stop Cyberbullying?

For bullying to stop completely, it is essential to identify it first. If you feel you are being bullied, talk about it to someone you trust, like your parents or friends or even your favorite teacher.

If it is happening on some social media app, the first step should be to report and block that account. Most social media apps give this feature. Then, the next step should be to have pieces of evidence like a recording of a call or screenshots of the messages. And then, you should contact the police or cyber-crime office to report this behavior so that the one who is bullying should know that such behavior is not at all acceptable.

Also, while posting something online or giving someone access to your location, think twice because once something is uploaded online, it stays there forever, and it may harm you sooner or later if not properly thought.

Always have the proper awareness about the privacy and security settings of your social media app. All apps have a policy to keep their user’s information secure and safe.

Few steps which might help you from cyberbullying are −

  • Few social media apps allow you to restrict who can view your photo and who can comment or share your information or even be your friend.

  • They also have a feature of the report and block that account without notifying that person, so you can do that if you find any account suspicious.

  • You can also mute messages from someone if they are troubling you by continuously texting you.

  • You can also modify that setting by who can directly text you and who cannot in certain apps.

  • There also comes a feature where you can report the individual trying to capture the screenshots of your text messages or your posts.

Always explore such settings and features of your favorite Social Media App. Use the App that provides you with all this encryption, and think twice before posting anything online. In this way, you can stay safe from cyberbullying.