When it comes to the Internet, it can be a user’s best friend or their worst enemy. Many children and vulnerable adults find themselves the victims of cyberbullying. This is a very real problem that children of past generations did not have to deal with. These days, many children are bullied either in school, on the Internet, or both. You need to learn more on How to Define Cyberbullying! 

Cyberbullying is defined as the harassment of a child through means of technology, including mobile phones and other handheld devices connected to the Internet. The bullying must come from a minor and be directed towards another minor to count as cyberbullying.

As soon as adults are involved in the problem, cyberbullying becomes known as cyber stalking or cyber harassment. If it gets out of hand, cyberbullying can and does lead to the injury, murder or suicide of many children.

Unless a death threat is made right away, cyberbullying is a recurring problem for most of its victims, If a particular incident of cyberbullying gets increasingly worse it can get to the point where it is a misdemeanour cyberharassment charge against the bully. If the child is too young to be guilty of a misdemeanour they can be charged with juvenile delinquency. In many cases of cyberbullying, the parents of the victim will insist on pursuing criminal charges.

These types of charges can lead to children being banned from using the Internet provider that was the platform for cyberbullying. In some cases of cyberbullying, the harasser is accused of identity theft if it can be proved they hacked into the victim’s email account. Federal and state laws are cracking down on children accused of identity theft.

Learning to Define CyberBullying

In many cases, when an incident like this comes to life, the students’ school does their best to discipline students for cyberbullying even when the bullying occurred outside of school. Many times this leads to a lawsuit against the school for violation of free speech on behalf of the student involved, as well as exceeding the authority any school has over their students. In most cases, the school loses their lawsuit as a result.

In the face of cyberbullying incidents, many schools work with their students’ parents to discourage them from participating in this destructive action. Schools are beginning to educate their students on cyber ethics and laws. Some schools have changed their acceptable use policy to allow them to take disciplinary action against students caught participating in cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying can be a vicious cycle because often, students who participate in this form of harassment are bullied at school and in turn, come home and bully other kids on the Internet. Many cyber bullies are simply trying to get attention from the adults in their life and they are not able to do so. This is when they turn to cyberbully to cope.

It is very important that parents know what to look for to determine whether or not their child is, or has been, the victim of cyberbullying and also to determine whether or not their child is acting as a cyberbully. Many children on both sides of the equation end up needing to receive counselling from a therapist in order to move past cyberbullying.

In some cases of cyberbullying, the parents get local police involved. Parents are advised to take a screenshot of the bullying being carried out against their child. They then need to print out the screenshot and show it to authorities. This is also when the cyber bully’s IP address can be traced and the computer they use to engage in the bullying can be located. Many times this will cut down or even stop cyberbullying altogether.

One of the worst parts of cyberbullying is that it can be carried out at any given time. Children are not restricted to only being able to bully each other at school. Kids are vulnerable to cyberbullying when they are alone and unsupervised. Cyberbullies strike so often and so badly because they are anonymous. Harassing emails, social media posts and text messages can all be preserved after the bullying incident has occurred.

Cyberbullying can have a destructive effect on its victims. They are more likely to engage in behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use and skipping school. In addition, children who have been cyberbullied often suffer from bad health, plummeting grades and low self-esteem. They get to the point where they don’t want to go to school at all because they are afraid and feel vulnerable and threatened while they are there.

As of the 2008-2009 school year, when it came to students in sixth grade all the way up through twelfth grade, 6% of them were being cyberbullied according to the School Crime Supplement, through the National Center For Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics. The Youth Surveillance Survey, conducted in 2011, showed that in 2010, 16% of all high school students in the U.S. were the victims of cyberbullying.

The i-Safe foundation determined that for every ten teenagers that are victims of cyberbullying, only one of those ten will actually tell their parents they are being bullied. Less than one in five of these incidents are ever reported to police. It was also determined that females are more vulnerable to cyberbullying than males are. Almost half of the younger generation has been involved in some form of cyberbullying. Statistics show that between 10 and 20% of school-aged children must deal with cyberbullying on a regular basis. The majority of cyberbullying consists of nasty and hurtful rumours and comments being spread about the victims.

Cutting down on how to define cyberbullying can be as easy as following a few simple guidelines, such as urging victims to save any threatening or nasty communications between them and the person bullying them, not giving passwords out to anyone except one’s parents, electronically blocking whoever is sending the rude and threatening messages and keeping personal information private.

If parents, students and school systems all work together with defining cyberbullying, cyberbullying can be halted. The key is to educate people and offer them places to turn to if they are bullying or being bullied. Lots of open communication and support can lead to a better understanding of why cyberbullying occurs and what actions need to be taken to make it a thing of the past. There are many aspects that help define cyberbullying. It is problem that must be solved by communities throughout the entire United States.

Spread the word on how to define cyberbullying with your loved ones because sharing is truly caring, help end cyberbullying by defining cyberbullying now!