Cyberbullying: It Can Happen to Anyone

excerpted from a blog written by broadbandsearch.net

When most people think of the risks people face on the internet, being exposed to sexual predators is not the biggest danger. The biggest threat is cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying can be even worse than in-person bullyingAccording to stopbullying,gov, cyberbullying takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content.

Cyberbullying can be a bigger threat than in-person bullying because:

  • It can occur around the clock
  • It can be permanent because anything posted can be very difficult to remove
  • It’s difficult to spot because it happens in complete silence

This kind of online harassment includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone. It includes sharing personal or private information about someone else to embarrass or humiliate them. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.

According to a recent survey, 34% of kids report having been cyberbullied at some point, while 17% report it has happened to them in just the past month.

The most common places cyberbullying occurs are:

  • Social media (like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter)
  • SMS (Short Message Service) also known as texting
  • Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
  • Email

Comments, photos, and posts can often be viewed by both strangers and acquaintances. What is shared online – both personal content as well as any negative, mean, or hurtful content – creates a permanent public record of their views, activities, and behavior. This online reputation may be accessible to schools, employers, colleges, clubs, and others who may be researching an individual now or in the future.

Besides harming the online reputations of everyone involved, cyberbullying can be:

  • Persistent – Digital devices offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for people experiencing cyberbullying to find relief.
  • Permanent – Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, and is difficult to remove. A negative online reputation can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.
  • Hard to Notice – Because teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is harder to recognize.

To learn more, please visit broadbandsearch.net’s blog on 17 Rules to Protect My Child Online.

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