A third of young people experience cyberbullying, but are often unaware of how to react effectively to prevent harm and stop the bully. Although you may be a proud geek, often school students can be targeted because of their hobbies and interests. Furthermore, 95% of young people are internet users, with the geek community spending more time online than anyone else. Online anonymity can be utilized by bullies to write harmful comments that they wouldn’t say in person, but this is still unacceptable and can be incredibly emotionally damaging to a person. As a security conscious computer user, here are the steps you can take if you ever experience harassing or distressing behavior online.
Don’t Stay Silent
However embarrassing threats against you may seem to be, you shouldn’t feel ashamed to tell people. Talking to your parents about online bullying or another authority figure such as a teacher will help you to get advice about what to do next. Beyond the procedural reactions that you need to take, you will also receive important emotional support. Discuss the comments with trusted friends, who will reassure you that these are just trolls and to not take their words to heart.
Report and Block the Profile
Social media sites have a report button which is meant precisely for instances of bullying. It is non-invasive to send a report and takes just a few seconds. In most cases, the profile will be removed if it is determined to be a troll or a person engaging in harassing behavior. Regardless of how a social media platform reacts, you can always block the profile yourself so that they can no longer contact you.
Ignoring a message will make a bully less likely to contact again, but it also stops you from writing harassing messages in retaliation. However angry you are, resist the urge to respond to an offensive comment. At the same time, don’t delete the messages. Saving the evidence will help your case when taking action against a bully.
Geeks of the world have unfortunately come up against bullies in the past. The internet has made it too easy for cowardly people to send unkind messages. However, by ignoring these messages, blocking and reporting the profile, and talking to friends, parents, and teachers about the issue, you can protect yourself and others from harm.