When we ask about the meaning of bullying, it should mention that it is a reality in the daily life of children. Such reality is true through technology if it exceeds the classroom walls. According to data, almost 21% of bullying cases occur through digital channels. Therefore, it is required and apparent about its effects and, further, the most appropriate measures to avoid cyberbullying.
Why Cyberbullying Is So Dangerous?
Problematic situations like bullying cause children and adolescents’ lives are suffering. There are no profiles, and anyone can bear and exercise bullying, but especially there are weak people due to their sex, origin, physical features, sexual orientation, hobbies, or social skills.
The immersion of minors in the digital world is positive in many aspects, but it also has harmful consequences, such as the emergence of cases of cyberbullying. According to a study by Ipsos Global Advisor, one in two cases of cyberbullying occurs through smartphones (47%), followed by other channels such as social networks (44%), online messaging systems (42%), chats (29%), email (25%) and other types of web pages (18%). In these cases, stalkers use different technological tools to intimidate their victims, with the mobile phone being the main way.
All types of bullying are very harmful and threatening, but cyberbullying has some features that make it more dangerous:
- In the first place, there is no haziness of temporal and spatial barriers, and it is possible to be in continuous contact with the victim outside the school environment. In addition, the greater physical distance makes it even more difficult for the bully to empathize with the bullied.
- On the other hand, the internet offers believed obscurity to cyberbullies. They hide after it to threaten their classmates and enjoy greater privileges outside the classroom.
- Lastly, the immediacy and the absence of rules make the attacks more impulsive and aggressive, thus increasing the seriousness of the conflicts.
We must add that the Internet and social networks make it possible to send attacks to more people in less time, for example, through virtualization, which makes it even more difficult to eliminate these offensive messages.
Five Measures To Avoid Cyberbullying
Without a doubt, prevention is the best weapon against dangerous methods such as cyberbullying. For this reason, it is vital to take into account some key measures to avoid cyberbullying attacks:
1. Take Care Of Privacy
One of the main concepts that young Internet users must understand is that of privacy, besides alerting them to the ‘risks’ that overexposing it may entail. Some basic recommendations go through privatizing the profiles on social networks. Such as adding only trusted people to these networks, changing passwords frequently, and configuring the privacy options of the different platforms.
2. Talk And Build Trust
Transparency, information, and trust can go a long way to prevent children, siblings, and other minors we know from falling into cyberbullying. It is essential to raise awareness of this practice and its consequences and facilitate them to use the ‘Internet’ responsibly. Even tools like parental control can be a good resource to guarantee this good use.
3. Monitor Privacy
One key to using digital platforms responsibly is to keep in mind that the owner loses control of a file once they send a file. For this reason, we must avoid publicizing personal data and photographs, especially if it is sensitive content. And, of course, you also have to make potential harassers see that spreading this type of content is a crime.
4. Do Not Fall For Hoaxes
Among the most common dangers on the Internet is the circulation of hoaxes; rumors and false news can put the privacy and intimacy of those who receive it at risk. One form of cyberbullying is to spread and use them so that when the victims fall for them, they are threatened and blackmailed. Official security forces such as the National Police use their social networks to reject them and alert them.
5. Use The Help And Tools To Report
The best reaction to cyberbullying is not violence or counteracting with the same attack. On the contrary, both those affected by this harassment and those who witness it should do is report it and alert the corresponding bodies. And, of course, the websites and helplines of institutions or associations are also available for information.
Simply we can say that ending ‘Cyber Bullying’ is a task that requires responsiveness and action. However, above all, it requires the involvement and struggle of all.