What is Cyber Bullying – Cyber bullying is the harassment or bullying executed through digital devices like computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. The platforms where cyber bullying can occur include social media, chat rooms, and gaming platforms where people can view and participate in the sharing of content.
Face-to-face bullying and cyber bullying can often happen alongside each other. But cyber bullying leaves a digital footprint – a record that can prove useful and provide evidence to help stop the abuse.
When the bullying takes place online, it can result in unwanted attention from a wide range of people including strangers. Wherever it may happen, if you are not happy about it, you should not have to stand for it.
When bullying happens online it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your own home. It can seem like there’s no escape. The effects can last a long time and affect a person in many ways:
- Mentally — feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even angry
- Emotionally — feeling ashamed or losing interest in the things you love
- Physically — tired (loss of sleep), or experiencing symptoms like stomach aches and headaches
Cyber Bullying in India
According to research conducted by Symantec, nearly 8 out of 10 individuals are subject to the different types of cyber bullying in India. Out of these around 63% faced online abuses and insults, and 59% were subject to false rumors and gossips for degrading their image.
The same study ranks India as the country facing the highest cyber bullying in the Asia Pacific region, more than Australia and Japan.
50% of women residing in prime Indian cities are a victim of online abuse, according to a survey by Feminism.
“The feeling of being laughed at or harassed by others can prevent people from speaking up or trying to deal with the problem. In extreme cases, cyber bullying can even lead to people taking their own lives.”
Cyber bullying can affect us in many ways. But these can be overcome and people can regain their confidence and health.
Tips to Prevent Cyber Bullying
1. Be Wary of Your Online Activities
2. Watch out for These Signs
The following are some warning signs that your child is being cyber bullied or is cyber bullying others.
- Considerable increase or decrease in your child’s usage of a mobile, laptop, or tablet.
- Display emotional responses such as sadness, anger, or happiness to the activities on their device.
- The tendency to avoid discussion on their online activities.
- Hiding of the device screen when others are close by.
- Indifference to social activities and gatherings, and outdoor activities.
- Sudden deactivation of their social media accounts or opening of new ones.
- Becoming depressed and withdrawn.
3. Steps to Take
You must take prompt steps to show your support as well as report cyber bullying.
Call it what you will – if you feel bad and it doesn’t stop, then it’s worth getting help. Stopping cyber bullying is not just about calling out bullies, it’s also about recognizing that everyone deserves respect – online and in real life.
“Stop asking why they keep doing it and
start asking why you keep allowing it.”
Worried about your safety or something that has happened to you online?
- urgently speak to an adult you trust.
- visit Child Helpline International to find help in your country.
- Incognito Forensic Foundation (IFF Lab) – Your Partner in Fighting Cyber Bullying
- Incognito Forensic Foundation (IFF Lab) is a private forensic laboratory in Bangalore and Chennai that offers consultation and digital forensic services for cyber bullying. If you need any guidance on how to prevent cyber bullying or report cyber bullying in India, IFF Lab is there to assist you.
- For the increasing cases of cyber bullying in India, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched a distinct helpline (firstname.lastname@example.org) to report cyber bullying, online harassment, and cyber defamation, particularly against women and children.
Who should you talk to if someone is bullying you online?
- If you think you’re being bullied, the first step is to seek help from someone you trust such as your parents, a close family member, or another trusted adult.
- In your school, you can reach out to a counselor, the sports coach, or your favorite teacher.
- And if you are not comfortable talking to someone you know, search for a helpline in your country to talk to a professional counselor.
- If the bullying is happening on a social platform, consider blocking the bully and formally reporting their behavior on the platform itself. Social media companies are obligated to keep their users safe.
- For bullying to stop, it needs to be identified and reporting it is key. It can also help to show the bully that their behavior is unacceptable.
- If you are in immediate danger, then you should contact the police or emergency services in your country.
Left questioning your own sanity? walking around aimlessly? At war with your own body? Trying to scrub heavy words of the skin!
~For bullying to stop, it needs to be identified and reporting it is key~
It’s a storm and storms devastate. “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through… you won’t be the same person who walked in and that’s what storms are all about”. ~Haruki Murakami
~Anyone can become a victim of cyber bullying~
Doing nothing can leave the person feeling that everyone is against them or that nobody cares. Your words can make a difference.
Also, the first line of defense against cyber bullying could be you. Think about where cyber bullying happens in your community and ways you can help – by raising your voice, calling out bullies, reaching out to trusted adults, or by creating awareness of the issue. Even a simple act of kindness can go a long way.
~The first line of defense against cyber bullying could be you.~