Cyberbullying411.com has provided the following tips to educate yourself and your friends about cyberbullying and how to address it in the real world.
In general, cyberbullying is bullying or harassment that happens online. Much of it is similar to what you might have experienced offline in schools, homes, or the community, but has the additional aspect of the Internet.
Cyberbullying can take the form of a message on email or IM or a social networking site from someone who is threatening to hurt you or beat you up. It could be a profile made by someone pretending to be you. Or, someone hacking into your profile and writing comments pretending they're from you.
Cyberbullying occurs in many different places online, including instant messaging, social networking sites, email, and chat rooms. The most common place bullying occurs online is over instant messenger, but it also can occur via other new technologies.
If you are being cyberbullied or threatened online in any way, there are things you can do to stop it:
- Ignore the person. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to ignore the person and go on about your business.
- Block or delete the person. If it is happening on Instant Messaging or some other place online that requires a 'buddy list,' you can block certain users based upon their username, or delete them if they are in your buddy list. You can also block emails that are coming from specific email addresses.
- Log-off if the harassment is bothering you.
- Change your information. If someone has phished your profile, change your password. If someone repeatedly sends you messages (like, 'add me to your buddy list' over and over), consider changing your username or email address.
- If there is a profile that was created about you without you knowing, contact MySpace and click on "Imposter Profile" to have the profile or language taken down.
- If you are upset about what is being said, talk to someone you trust. Don't feel like you're alone.
When to talk to adults
Many times, teens are able to take care of the cyberbullying on their own. But sometimes it gets out of hand, and it's helpful to talk to an adult about what is going on. If you feel scared or overwhelmed, maybe even trapped, it's definitely time to talk to an adult.
If you don't feel comfortable speaking with a parent, seek out other adults or authorities like a teacher, coach, school counselor, a youth group leader, or other adult family member such as an aunt or uncle.
For more information and resources about how to stop cyberbullying, please visit the following sites: