Kids and teens are incredibly prone to cyberbullying every single day. According to statistics, 38% of people experience cyberbullying daily! It is also reported that 60% of parents with children aged 14 to 18 have experienced being bullied. So, cyberbullying is indeed a major issue in today’s digital age. The cases are increasing due to the excessive use of social media and the internet. So, parents and teachers must take action to protect their children from getting bullied, or worse, to become the bully. Before knowing the solutions for this matter, let’s first discuss the different types of cyberbullying. It will help parents and teachers to figure out if their children are already facing cyberbullying.
One of the main types of cyberbullying is online harassment. It covers a vast part of the cyberbullying attacks as it includes hurtful messages, threats, and constant online insult and intimidation. Moreover, harassment also refers to aggressive and intentional bullying by sending threats to the victim. It aims to hurt or cause harm to someone directly. According to a global research study, harassment victims are reported to be 4 out of ten people. The first and significant type of cyberbullying can cause massive harm to the victims. It may lead to depression, anxiety, and intense dramatic situations.
Another serious type of cyberbullying is cyberstalking. A bully who cyberstalks someone is capable of monitoring the victim online. They can see the victim’s digital activities such as posts, comments, views, and others. Cyberstalker can also lead to offline stalking, which is a criminal offence. Both cyberstalking and offline stalking gives threats, false accusations, improper observation and illegal tracking of the victim’s online and personal life. Victims of cyberbullying can develop anxiety, fear, inferiority, and insecurity.
“Fraping” is a term that originated from “Facebook” and “raping.” From its name itself, fraping refers to an unconsented posting on Facebook using the victim’s profile. It could be a previous joke or tripping with friends before, but today, it is called “fraping.” For instance, a guy posted an embarrassing status using his ex-girlfriend’s Facebook account was fined for $2,700. It was just a joke of impersonating someone, but it might lead to ruining the victim’s online reputation. So, a child who forgot to log out the account and someone used it to post something inappropriate, and then it is a strong example of “fraping” or Facebook raping.
Cyberbullies become braver and more potent if they use fake accounts to attack their victims—this kind of cyberbullying falls as the masquerading. The bully can create a new profile using a fake email address, fake social media account, and fake photos. They can also fool someone using this account and try to impersonate the victim. Another masquerading form is when the bully tries to play the victim using their new fake account. They will tend to target someone and do harmful acts using these fake profiles. Facebook made an action with this matter as they claimed to deactivate about 583 million fake accounts last May 2018. However, you as a parent must still talk to your child to remind them to not post any personal information and photos online. They can also make their accounts private so they can hide any personal information or photos from people that they don’t know. If you found their pictures on other fake accounts, you should report it on Facebook right away to block that account.
One abusive act under cyberbullying is outing or doxing. It refers to the front of revealing private and sensitive information online to humiliate and embarrass the victims. They can expose personal photos, documents, conversations, and even intimate details without the victims’ knowledge. In this case, the victim will be surprised by finding out that their things are already available online—the central issue in outing the victim’s lack of consent. Sometimes the cyberbully is also inside the private group from where the victim told a secret. Then, the cyberbully uses this information to humiliate the individual. This action may lead to legal actions, especially if the details are from legal documents. So, teach your children to avoid spilling news and information online, even they are all friends or classmates. It may cause further damages as the information leaked throughout the internet. It is also important to make them understand that their personal life is very much different from their social media accounts. So as parents, you need to remind your kids to think first before sharing anything personal online.
Trickery is somehow similar to outing or doxing. The only difference is that the cyberbully is a stranger, not a friend, or any personal relationship with the victim in trickery. In trickery, the cyberbully could create a new fake account and try to befriend the victim. Once they get the victim’s attention and trust, they will begin to ask questions and encourage them to talk about sensitive information. Eventually, the cyberbully can now spill the secrets to other parties or even post it online. The victim will now determine that “new friend” is someone awaits to attack them through this. To prevent trickery, you need to teach your kids not to talk to strangers even if they seem nice or harmless. You may also check their accounts regularly to see who they are chatting or communicating online.
Other cyberbullying actions with similarities with outing and trickery are the dissing. Dissing refers to an online attack to someone with personal or close relationships to the victim. They are using private messages or public posts to ruin one’s reputation. They could spread cruel details, inappropriate images, or even fake news about the victim and the victim’s family. Other than that, dissing may also lead to damage to the victim’s relationship with other people. The spread of cruel online information just to tarnish one’s digital image to their friends, families, and followers, is a vital act of dissing. The cyberbully could use pictures, videos, and screenshots of your online activities and use them to bring you down. To prevent dissing, you must tell your child not to give inappropriate opinions or inappropriate images online. Anything that might use to ruin their names and reputations should avoid presenting online.
Other than posting, harsh commenting on social media accounts is another way of cyberbullying. The cyberbully can flood you with malicious comments or even introduce harmful content to your account. It could intentionally upset your social media friends and followers using these tools. Trolling cyberbullies usually have no personal relationship with the victims. So, they are more aggressive on breaking your posts and personal profile. Facebook and other social media accounts have included privacy settings for others not to jump into your child’s accounts. Kindly apply those security measures to protect your child’s online reputation.
Flaming is similar to trolling, but the cyberbully tends to attack the victim directly. They can post and send direct threats, insults, and offensive messages. The cyberbully can also start an online fight from which the victim will be attacked harshly. Other than that, flaming includes profanity, cursing, and foul languages to insult the victim. It could be real damage to one’s emotional values. Through this, you must protect your child. Help them avoid strangers and do not allow them to join any groups that might have cyberbullies. Choose the groups that they will be joining, the one without trash talks or inappropriate languages.
The simplest but another dangerous cyberbullying act is the exclusion. In this type, the cyberbully will explicitly show that the victim’s group is not inviting the victim into parties or any social groups. The bullies could use message threads or conversations, highlighting that they will not include the victim. Exclusive is like leaving someone behind. It may cause emotional embarrassment to the kid or might even feel outcast. Once it happens to your kid, you must make a move and help them find true and real friends. Moreover, you can explain to them that there are better people around to empower them every day.
How to prevent your kid to get cyberbullied?
Many parents choose to enrol their kids to a coding school or any STEM accredited franchises classes. Why? Because children who prefer to learn about extracurricular activities for kids possess not only the ability to code but also mutual respect, listening, communication and other life social skills. They can practice collaboration, teamwork, and they tend to listen to others to help them, not to degrade them. Kids coding classes or robotics classes for kids could help your child find generous and intellectual children who might have the same likes, hobbies and even perspectives. You might be able to protect them from cyberbullying in programming classes for kids available on Skill Samurai. Furthermore, STEM skill school, maths tutoring, and other afterschool care programs like Skill Samurai can help children gain discipline, resiliency, social skills, and other skills they could bring until they grow up. Sign up your kids now and protect them from dangerous acquaintances online.
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