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The term cyberbullying refers to a potential criminal activity in which someone bullies or harasses others on the Internet.
Victims of cyberbullying often receive a large number of text and email messages via websites and online platforms. Most usually, cyberbullies make use of social networking sites, forums, comment sections or search engines to harm, intimidate or scare the victim. The cyberbully is often someone the victim knows personally and who tries to create a feeling of worry, stress or fear for their safety in the victim's mind.
The following actions constitute cyberbullying:
- Sending nasty or threatening texts and email messages.
- Posting humiliating videos on social networking sites or content platforms such as YouTube.
- Harassing a person by repeatedly sending them messages via chatrooms or social media apps.
- Creating fake social-networking profiles to mock or humiliate others.
- Happy slapping. This refers to acts in which people are attacked or humiliated and the attack is filmed on a mobile camera phone. Attackers often share the videos with others.
- Posting or forwarding personal private information or photos about a person without their consent.
- Intentionally sending viruses with the purpose of damaging the victim's computer.
- Posting denigrating comments about a person on online gaming sites.
Tips for preventing cyberbullying
Talk to someone you trust.
Research shows that victims of intimidation or bullying (either online or face-to-face) have poor mental health, are lonely and disconnected, and may not seek help and support. Being connected to the people around you is very important for your wellbeing, and asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
Both on the platform where the abuse is occurring, and to authorities. Law enforcement agencies explain that even though not all cases that are investigated are finally cleared up, exposing cyberbullying helps give visibility to this important issue and advise victims.
Do not reply.
Block the cyberbully on your social media apps or email but do not delete the messages received. They can be used as evidence and to identify the bully if the attack took place anonymously Even people using a fake name or email address can be tracked.
Use the Internet and your mobile devices with care.
Access information that is appropriate for your age, and never share personal information such as your phone number or address. Think twice before posting photos or videos of yourself or your friends on the Internet..
Protect your accounts and devices.
Use complex passwords and never share your account passwords with anybody. Also, check the privacy settings of the platforms you use, both gaming and social media sites.
Use parental controls.
Security experts and child psychologists agree on the importance of parents controlling the online contents accessed by their children by means of the parental control filters available to them.
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