"Cyber bullying" is when a or teen is threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyberstalking.
How Cyber Bullying generally happens?
Forwarding a private IM communication to others
A kid/teen may create a screen name that is very similar to another kid's name. The name may have an additional "i" or one less "e". They may use this name to say inappropriate things to other users while posing as the other person.
Children may forward the above private communication to others to spread their private communication.
Never forward or share your or others private communications without the permission of concerned users in Internet Chat Rooms.
Impersonating to spread rumours
Forwarding gossip mails or spoofed mails to spread rumours or hurt another kid or teen.They may post a provocative message in a hate group's chat room posing as the victim, inviting an attack against the victim, often giving the name, address and telephone number of the victim to make the hate group's job easier.
Never spread any hatred mails, rumours by using e-mail or mobile by impersonating another.
Posting embarrassing photos or video
A picture or video of someone in a locker room, bathroom or dressing room may be taken and posted online or sent to others on cell phones.
Never post pictures/videos of someone or self without proper guidelines.
By using web sites or blogs
Children used to tease each other in the playground; now they do it on web sites. Kids sometimes create web sites or blogs which may insult or endanger another child. They create pages specifically designed to insult another kid or group of people.
Insulting others in either place is not good etiquette. Never do it.
Humiliating text sent over cell phones
Text wars or text attacks are when kids gang up on the victim, sending thousands of text-messages related to hatred messages to the victim’s cell phone or other mobile phones.
Never send messages related to humiliating a kid or teen through cell phone. It may cost your family money and also land you in criminal offence.
Sending threatening e-mails and pictures through e-mail or mobile to hurt another
Children may send hateful or threatening messages to other kids, without realizing that while not said in real life, unkind or threatening messages are hurtful and very serious.
Never threaten anybody through either Internet or Mobile communications as the victim who may be a child/teen may feel so hurt and depressed that it may even lead to his death.
Insulting other users in Interactive online games
Kids/Teens verbally abuse the other kids/teens, using threats and foul language while playing online games or interactive games.
While you play interactive games, never use abusive language or any racist remarks with a peer player.
A kid may steal another child's password and begin to chat with other people, pretending to be the other kid or change the actual user profile.
Always have easy to remember but strong password. Periodically change the password.
Tips for Parents
Follow Family Rules
In real life, you may follow some rules for interacting with people. The same should be applied for Internet too. Convey the message to all known people, that Cyber Bullying can be harmful and causes pain in the real world as well as in the cyber world.
Observe or Monitor your child’s activities
The observations or monitoring of children’s activities can be done informally by participation and supervision of their online experience. You may also make discreet use of software tools when covertly spying on your kids. Be warned ;this may cause more damage than good if your child feels you are invading his privacy and may go completely under ground.
Educate your children
Always frame rules for internet access and warn them about how cyber bullying can affect the family. Educate them about internet based behaviour and etiquette. Teach and reinforce moral values about how others should be treated with respect and dignity.
Use Filtering and Blocking Software
Use Parental Control Bars, Desktop Firewalls, Browser Filters to avoid or prevent children from cyber bullying others or accessing inappropriate content.
Make sure your child’s school has Internet Safety Education programming
You may request school authorities to teach or guide students about how to prevent and respond to online peer harassment, interact wisely through social networking sites and responsible online users.
Tips for Teachers
Form the rules of computer Labs, Internet labs
Specify clear rules, Guidelines and policies regarding the use of the Internet, Computers and Other Devices such as USB, CDROM at School to protect against Cyber Bullying.
Teach Students the impact of Cyber Bullying
Teach students that all types of bullying are unacceptable and are subject to discipline.
Mentoring the students and establishment of peer monitoring
Teachers need to be mentors to guide students regarding security awareness and also monitor their activities through peer students.
Implement Blocking/Filtering Software at Lab PCs in School
Use Desktop Firewalls, Browser Filters to avoid or prevent children from cyber bullying or accessing inappropriate content. Use monitoring along with software tools for students online activity.
Educate your students
Educate students by conducting various workshops by an internal or external expert to discuss related issues in cyber bullying, good online behaviour and other information security issues. Also keep related posters in school.