Inform yourself to protect yourself!
Cyberbullying is a worldwide problem and one that is growing – fast! Because cyberbullying can happen in a variety of ways, each of which needs to be dealt with differently, it’s important that you are able to recognize them. In this blog post, we take you through the 10 forms of cyberbullying so that you have the knowledge to protect your children.
Before we consider the different forms, it is important to define what we mean by cyberbullying.
“Cyberbullying is the use of inappropriate behaviour, strength or influence, whether directly or indirectly, and whether verbal, written, physical or through displays of or use of imagery, symbols or otherwise, to intimidate, torment, threaten, harass or embarrass others, using the Internet or other technology, such as mobile telephones.” David Fagan, Lawyer, BizLegal.eu
Exclusion is the deliberate act of leaving you out.
Exclusion is the deliberate act of leaving someone out.
Exclusion can happen in a number of ways:
- Your child might be excluded from friends’ parties or activities.
- Your child’s friends are having online conversations and tagging other friends but not them.
- Your child isn’t using social networking sites or doesn’t have a smartphone and is deliberately excluded from conversations by others because of this.
Harassment is a sustained, constant and intentional form of bullying comprising abusive or threatening messages sent to your child or to a group.
This is a very dangerous form of cyberbullying. It can have serious implications for your child’s wellbeing. The messages are generally unkind or malicious, can impact their self-esteem and confidence, and can make them fearful. The constant messaging means that there is no respite from the cyberbully. The cyberbully makes an extreme effort to cause fear and pain.
Outing is a deliberate act to embarrass or publicly humiliate your child or a group through the online posting of sensitive, private or embarrassing information without their consent.
Outing can happen in a variety of ways and the information revealed can be serious or trivial. Even reading out your child’s saved messages on their mobile phone can be considered a form of outing. Personal information should not be shared and if someone reveals private information deliberately be sure your child knows to report it as cyberbullying
This form of cyberbullying can extend to the cyberbully making real threats to your child’s physical wellbeing and/or safety. Cyberstalking can also refer to the practice of adults using the Internet to contact and attempt to meet with young people for sexual purposes. It is a very dangerous form of cyberbullying and can have serious consequences if something isn’t done immediately to stop it.
Fraping is when somebody logs into your social networking account and impersonates your child by posting inappropriate content in their name.
Fraping is a very serious offence, which many people believe to be funny and entertaining, but it’s not. Impersonating somebody online and ruining their reputation can have serious consequences. Remember Google never forgets so everything rude or otherwise posted online will never be fully gone, even if deleted.
6. Fake Profiles
Fake profiles can be created in order for a person to hide their real identity with the intention of cyberbullying your child.
The cyberbully might also use someone else’s email or mobile phone to cyberbully them. This would make it appear as if someone else has sent the threats. The cyberbully is afraid in case their identity is revealed, therefore they choose to use fake accounts. This usually means that the cyberbully is someone that your child knows very well, because if they didn’t know them, the perpetrator wouldn’t have to hide their identity.
Dissing is the act of sending or posting cruel information about your child online, to damage their reputation or friendships with others.
It can also include posting material online such as photos, screenshots or videos. The cyberbully wants to put your child down, so draws attention to what they are saying about them to make other people think they’re not cool. The cyberbully is usually someone your child knows. This can make it really upsetting.
Trickery is the act of gaining your child’s trust so that they reveal secrets or embarrassing information that the cyberbully then shares publicly online.
The cyberbully will ‘befriend’ your child and lead them into a false sense of security before breaking their trust and sending their private information to a third party.
Tolling is the deliberate act of provoking a response through the use of insults or bad language on online forums and social networking sites.
The troll will personally attack your child and put them down. Their main aim is to make them angry enough to act in the same way. Trolls spend their time looking for vulnerable people to put down. Usually they are looking to make themselves feel good by making others feel bad.
Catfishing is when another person steals your child’s online identity, usually photos, and re-creates social networking profiles for deceptive purposes.
A catfish is someone who wants to hide who they are. They will look at your child’s social networking profile and take any information they want to create a fake persona.
Sometimes they will only take your child’s photos and use fake names and information; at other times they could take their name and personal information. It can be hard to understand why a catfish does this but it is important to know that they are potentially damaging your child’s online reputation.
Please share this blog post with other parents you know so that they can inform themselves on the 10 forms of cyberbullying. Thank you for being a good digital citizen!