Online Cyberbullying Resources 

With kids spending more and more time using technology, the issue of cyberbullying is one that many children deal with at some point or another. Cyberbullying is defined as bullying which occurs through the use of electronic technology. Cyberbullies often harass or harm the people they are bullying in a deliberate manner that often occurs repeatedly.

It can range from posting gossip about a person online to publishing embarrassing pictures, sending threats, and more. As technology continues to grow, cyberbullying will continue to be an important issue that needs to be dealt with. It is necessary for parents to know what cyberbullying is, and how to help their child if they believe it may be occurring.

Forms of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can take on different forms, from sending emails to harassing text messages. Online bullying often occurs on social media. It may include various actions such as getting others to gang up on the victim, making threats, and posting humiliating information with the intent of hurting the victim. Cyberbullying can also include the identifying of victims of crime publicly with the intention of humiliating or defaming them. Children and teens are often the victim of cyberbullies that they know in real life; for example former friends. Cyberbullies will often create fake profiles in the victim's name, among other harassing behavior. With the rise of the use of smartphones, it is easier than ever for cyberbullies to reach their intended target. Unlike traditional forms of bullying that may happen in schoolyards, cyberbullying can permeate every part of a victim's life, causing deep emotional issues.

How Cyberbullying Affects The Victim

According to research, victims of cyberbullying can suffer from a range of issues. Victims often have lower self esteem, and they may become depressed, scared, angry, and frustrated. Victims oftentimes will begin pulling away from friends and even family; this is generally the intention of the bully. In some situations, cyberbullying has been so severe that it has caused the victim to commit suicide. Children that may suffer from mental health issues are more prone to being seriously affected by cyberbullying. Because kids and teens are often hesitant to tell someone what is going on, they have an even more difficult time dealing with the effects of bullying. Cyberbullying is essentially a severe form of psychological abuse and as such can cause short and long term damage to victims.

How to Prevent Cyberbullying

There are steps that both children and parents can take to prevent cyberbullying. Parents should keep a close eye on their child's online activity and utilize tools such as parental controls. It is also important to establish firm rules for using technology so your children know exactly what they can do and what sites they can visit. Parents should also try to ensure that children feel comfortable speaking to them in the event that a situation does arise. You may also want to check with your child's school to see what their technology policy is.

Cyberbullying is a serious issue that can have lasting effects on its victims. It is necessary for parents, teachers, and children to work together to prevent cyberbullying. Children need to be educated on what to do and who to go to in the event that they encounter a cyberbully. Parents can encourage schools to update technology policies to help decrease instances of cyberbullying. With the help of education and policies that are being put into place, there is hope that instances of cyberbullying will eventually begin to decrease.




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