If your child is using the internet, it is important to help them understand the dangers of cyber bullying, and how to avoid being cyber bullied, or bullied when they’re online. The following is a look at three things you can do to stop a cyber bully:
1. Tell someone what is happening. Make sure, most importantly, that your child knows to tell you. It is important to help your child understand that cyber bullying is a real problem, one that is prone to escalation online and in real life as well. Kids have committed serious crimes, caused others to commit suicide and created other scenarios that have led to a severe loss of esteem and harassment among other things. So, if your child is being bullied, they need to inform their parent. If it is happening while they are on a school computer, they need to inform a teacher or guidance counselor. The more people who know about it, the more help they have to deal with the problem and thus they are less likely to be seriously affected by it.
2. Use blocking features. While it is not possible to completely restrict a bully’s access to you can get software that will block the bully’s access to your child and, while there are loopholes and ways around privacy settings and blocking features, it can, nonetheless, be done. If your child does not want to be bullied, then blocking the bully and setting security features higher, making blogs, websites and web pages private is a great place to start. The bully has to be very committed to the bullying if they are going to try and circumvent a privacy setting or a block on their username or IP address. This won’t solve the problem entirely as it does not stop the person from being a bully but it does protect your child from being bullied. It effectively shuts them down at least for a time. It is fairly easy for you to do this, so take a few minutes to change your account settings to private, set your security and filters to increase control over who can have access to you and your family.
3. Report them or, at the very least, threaten some kind of action. A bully will only bully as long as they have a victim. If you stop playing the part of victim and respond to their actions with equally strong actions, you can usually put a stop to them. If you are on a specific site, chat room or social media platform, inform the administrator of the problem, and they will remove the person’s account and block their IP address from the site. While they may circumvent it, if you keep reporting them and they are forced to invent new names, email addresses and the like, they may eventually give up. You can take some legal action if you are being cyber bullied. Consider a restraining order, or other similar legal steps to stop the problem. Get the bully’s parents involved and school administrators as well. It may be difficult without first identifying your bully, but any form of resistance gives them less power and will cause them to go away eventually.
No one should have to put up with being bullied, be it online or in real life. Online, their power is in their anonymity, so discover who it is, or find ways to ignore them completely so that you do not have to deal with their bullying.