Cyberbullying is intended, offensive, unwanted aggressive behaviour with the potential for harm, by individual or group, often anonymously, carried out through electronic devices.
Cyberbullying involves the use of digital communications (e.g. internet or mobile phones) to deliberately attempt to cause physical, emotional and psychological harm to others.
Kids go online and use their mobile phones for various reasons – to surf for information as homework, play online games, watch videos, email, send messages and chat with friends. Because so much communication is done online, it’s important for kids to be able to identify when someone says something to make them feel bad or to appreciate that their own words can cause unintentional harm to others.
TOUCH Cyber Wellness recommends five steps to take when faced with a cyberbullying incident:
Teach your children to stop what they are doing online if they encounter something that makes them feel uncomfortable, fearful or hurt.
Have your children cut off all lines of communication with the cyber bullies. Consider using available features to block off specific people from their contact lists.
Teach your children to save all the offensive and hateful email, instant messages or text messages, both hardcopy and softcopy, as they may be produced as evidence of cyberbullying in future.
Your children should not suffer alone. Let them know they can tell a trusted adult (parents or teachers) or even their close friends if they are caught in a cyberbullying situation.
If the previous tips are unable to stop cyberbullying, children need to report the cyber bullies to the appropriate authorities, including parents and teachers. If personal safety is threatened or their reputation is being damaged, it may be wise to report the case to the police as well.
Is your child or someone you know being bullied online? Give our counsellors a call at the TOUCHline 1800 377 2252 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm) and let us work through this journey with you.
For more information and workshops on cyberbullying, please visit the Power Of Zero facebook page here.
TOUCH Cyber Wellness (TCW) is a pioneer and leading non-profit agency that champions cyber wellness and media literacy education in Singapore. Since 2001, TCW has reached more than 320 schools and one million youths, parents, educators and counsellors through its education, advocacy and intervention efforts.