Monday, April 18, 2011

What to do if you are being bullied

Cyberbullying sometimes escalates to serious situations, especially if the victim is lacking information when it comes to dealing with cyberbullies. Below are some things you can do to resolve or at the very least limit the damage of cyberbullying:

* Refrain from Responding: Defending yourself from a cyberbully attack may seem like a natural response, but this is oftentimes the first mistake victims make. Cyberbullies feed on your reaction to their inflammatory posts and will increase the tempo of their attack if you start defending yourself. Moreover, the longer online cyberbullying lasts [as long as you keep responding to the comments], the more viral it becomes as more and more online bystanders are attracted to the fight. When you refrain from responding, or better yet, if you have not responded to the first attack at all, the cyberbullying situation will likely die down after a couple of days like a fire without any fuel to burn.

* Lock Down Profiles: Most teens are aware of the dangers of posting private information online and yet make them public anyway. Perhaps the most important step in preventing or minimizing cyberbullying is the careful management of what you post online as this information can be used as weapons against you by cyberbullies.

This especially goes for photos or videos you post online as well as those you have in your mobile phone or digital camera/camcorder. Compromising videos and photos are some of the most damaging bullying weapons online, so keep a tight lock on them and minimize the number of people that have access to these materials. Remember, even regular photos and videos could be digitally manipulated to embarrass or hurt you so limit access to these materials to your trusted friends only.

Moreover, even the information you share online can be used against you in cyberbullying. One of the cases wherein the victim committed suicide was because she shared personal information with an online ‘friend’ which turned out to be managed by cyberbullies. Your your blog could be mined for personal information that can be used against you in an online fight so refrain from posting about your fears, insecurities, etc. If you feel you must share this information, then at least keep these posts private.

* Block Offending Accounts: If the cyberbullying attack is done through private messaging or email, it could be sometimes simpler to block the offending account. Unless the cyberbully wants to escalate the situation into a public online campaign [which he or she may hesitate to do so because it would reveal who they are to the public], the attack would run out of steam at this stage.

* Change Contact Information: Similarly, it could also be a good move to just change your contact information [telephone number, cell phone number, email address, etc] and locking down the new accounts. Of course, you should only give out your new contact information to the persons you trust so as not to invite a repeat of the situation.

Read the rest of this Article .......... What to do if you are being bullied

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