6. Get Emotional Support
According to cyber harassment statistics 40% of people have experienced online harassment or other abuse. This means you are not alone. If you can, find a friend or family member that you can confide in. Also, remember that counseling is an option. It’s traumatizing to be a victim of cyber bullying, and sometimes professional help is needed.
7. Be Thoughtful in Your Response
This is especially good advice for younger internet users. When you are targeted by a bully, your initial instinct may be to respond in kind. Instead, try to calm down and think of constructive ways that you can deal with your own situation and help your community at large. For example, you could approach your school about forming a peer group to prevent cyber bullying. Here are a few things you could try:
- Make a List of Cyber Bullying Websites Where Young People Can Get More Information
- Team up With Creative Students to Write a Cyber Bullying PSA
- Encourage Students to Participate in an Essay Writing Scholarship Contest
- Invite Experts to Speak to Students and Staff About Cyberbullying.
8. Rely on Your Friends Offline
For many, the emotional impact of cyberbullying can be reduced significantly by fostering positive relationships and interactions offline. It’s much easier to be hurt by online behavior if your socialization is primarily or entirely done online. Consider building a social circle offline to balance things out.
9. Google Yourself
How do you know what to do about cyber harassment if you aren’t even aware it’s happening? Some online bullying is done covertly. The bully never approaches you directly, instead they find other ways to smear your reputation. They may create fake web pages or accounts in your name, then engage in embarrassing or unacceptable behavior to make you look bad. Another technique that is fairly common is the ‘slam page’. These are websites that are made to ‘slam’ a person.
Because of this, it is a good idea to Google yourself frequently. Start with your first and last name, but don’t stop there. You should also include your email address, employer, and social media handles in your search as well. This will help you to find attempts to demean or slander you behind your back.
10. Protect Your Accounts
Take care to keep your online accounts safe. Use strong passwords and change them regularly. Always log out of your accounts when you use a public computer. Lock your phone. Use multi factor authentication whenever it’s available. This will stop bullies from getting into your accounts, changing information, posting on your behalf, or finding personal information about you.
By following the ten steps above, you can protect yourself from internet bullies. You will be able to recognize bullying, know how to react to it, deal with the effects of online harassment, and form a strategy to make it stop.