How To Deal With Cyberbullying

Michael Morales  -  July 13, 2021  -   

Unfortunately, bullying is something we are already familiar with; cyberbullying is when bullies of the same nature take to the internet to harass others. It could be in the form of rude comments or any form of continued harassment that makes you uncomfortable. It affects everyone, from children to adults. 

With cyberbullying so prevalent, we need to know how to deal with it. Talk to your kids about bullying and cyberbullying. Check your online social accounts’ privacy settings. You also need to be careful of what you post online- a cyberbully can’t work with little to no information.

Talking to the experts, we have compiled the ten best ways to deal with cyberbullying.

  1. Respond Thoughtfully, Not Fast

“What parents don't often realize is that acting rashly might make matters worse for their children. A lot of cyberbullying involves marginalization (being cast down and ostracised), which the bully believes will improve his or her power or position. If you reply publicly, or if your child's friends learn about even a private meeting with school officials, the marginalization can worsen, which is why any answer must be carefully considered.”

  1. Save The Evidence

“What parents don't often realize is that acting rashly might make matters worse for their children. A lot of cyberbullying involves marginalization (being cast down and ostracised), which the bully believes will improve his or her power or position. If you reply publicly, or if your child's friends learn about even a private meeting with school officials, the marginalization can worsen, which is why any answer must be carefully considered.”

  1. Don’t Respond or Retaliate

“Aggressors may be searching for a reaction because they believe it will give them control over you, and you don't want to encourage a bully. When it comes to retaliation, retaliating against a bully transforms you into one – and can lead to a chain reaction. Remove yourself from the situation if possible. If you can't, humor may occasionally be used to disarm or divert a bully.”

Bram Jansen, Chief Editor of vpnAlert

  1. Keep Personal Stuff Private

“Online, kids should never give out their address, phone number, or email address. They should be cautious about disclosing too much information about their school, particularly if they have online friends or followers they don't know well. Remind them that people on the internet are not always who they claim to be. Even though the profile photo is of a teen girl, the person behind the account is not a teen girl. Someone could be impersonating a young girl to obtain information on other teenagers.”

Michael Robinson, Security Expert Cheap SSL Security

  1. Don’t Panic And Be Practical

“Stay calm and don't worry if you've been the victim of cyberbullying. When someone is being bullied, don't panic. Maintain your composure. Bullying victims, both adults, and children are in the same boat. Your initial instinct might be to retaliate against the bully. Rather, be pragmatic and gather evidence. Try to pay attention and gather information about what has occurred.

Gather any evidence that can be utilized forensically, whether it's screenshots of the cyberbullying or text messages on the phone. I believe that taking over the victim's social media account is a good way to show support. It can be mitigated by taking control of the child's Facebook profiles or monitoring what happens on their instant messaging program. Adult victims may find it helpful to have a buddy administer their account for a period.”

Bradley Bonnen, Founder & CEO of iFlooded Restoration

  1. Use Your Block/Mute Button

“The block and mute button options were specifically created for cyberbullies. So if someone is trying to cyberbully you for any reason at all, simply block or mute them and that will keep them away forever except they decide to create another account. You can always report or block their new accounts.

  1. Stand Up For Yourself During Arguments

“It’s normal to argue on social media but when these arguments result to insults, it’s best you stop interacting with the person or group of persons. Cyberbullies are always quick to insult people online and sometimes when you comeback at them with a nicely worded response, they’re forced to stop. Whatever happens online, always stand your ground. To protect yourself or your kids from cyberbullies, you have to make sure that you’re not friends with a cyberbully. If you notice that someone you’re close to is a cyberbully, unfollow or avoid them, even in real life.”

Adanna Jideofor is the PR Manager of Oliver Wicks, a Menswear Clothing Brand. 

“Cyberbullying is a problem that has existed ever since the internet became a recurrent thing in our lives. Bullies hide behind a digital screen and browse the web looking for victims to torment and humiliate for the sole purpose of entertaining themselves. So, if you find yourself in a victim spot, there are many things you can do to handle this situation and not let it affect you more than it should or to simply put an end to it.” (Nebojsa Calic)

  1. Avoid Adding Fuel to the Fire

“The first rule when it comes to handling cyberbullying is avoiding reacting to the incident. Bullies' goals are to upset you, and of course, they want to get an answer back from you to engage in a conflict; however, avoid adding fuel to the fire and ignore all negative comments that get to you, at least immediately after they occur since you can take a break and respond to them once you've cleared your head from all anger and thought everything through.” (Nebojsa Calic)

  1. Involve Legal Authorities 

“Another great tip for handling cyberbullying goes a little more beyond just ignoring them and involves legal authorities. If the cyberbullying is consistent, you may want to start gathering evidence of everything you've been through by saving screenshots or any material they have sent you and show it to the authorities so they can proceed. Any kind of bullying (including cyberbullying, of course) is illegal in almost every jurisdiction now, so make sure to save all that evidence since bullies know when they could actually get in trouble and delete all messages/posts about you.”

Nebojsa Calic, Founder CyberCrew

  1. By Talking About It

“Although it didn't even exist just a few decades ago, cyberbullying has become a major epidemic among many, especially the youth of today. But does a parent look out for their child without impeding on their sense of autonomy or independence? How do you take care of your child in a realm that is so personal and private? 

“The best tool against the effects of cyberbullying is having a frank and honest conversation with your child. There are many hard chats you will have to engage in with your kid and this is just one of them. But it is vital that there comes a point when you sit your children down and tell them that they can always come to you if there is a cyberbullying situation making itself known. They can tell you everything and you will work with them to keep them safe, healthy, and happy.

“Make sure your child knows that reporting cyberbullying isn't tattling or telling on someone, it is an adult and mature thing to do if you want the situation to be handled and resolved. As long as your child knows that they can bring this issue to you, the severity of most cyberbullying will be diminished. Honesty and openness- these are the two things that every parent needs to use if they wish to protect their children from cyberbullying.”

Eric Florence, Cybersecurity Analyst SecurityTech

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