Q: How can I prevent cyberbullying?
A: Don’t forget that even though you can’t see a cyberbully or the bully’s victim, cyberbullying causes real problems. If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online. Don’t write it. Don’t forward it.
- Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages
- Tell friends to stop cyberbullying
- Block communication with cyberbullies
- Report cyberbullying to a trusted adult
- Speak with other students, teachers and school administrators to develop rules against cyberbullying
- Raise awareness of the cyberbullying problem in your community by holding an assembly and creating fliers to give to younger kids or parents
Q: Should I notify parents/guardians about this issue?
A: Definitely. The sooner the better. Don’t wait until it escalates.
Q: Who do I ask for help if I am a victim of cyberbullying?
A. If you suspect you are the target of cyberbullying report it:
– to your parents or another trusted adult,
– at school: contact an pedagogue or teacher for help.
– call a hotline, such as the Child and Youth Helpline 116 111
Q: How can I take reasonable care of my privacy on social media?
A: Think twice before you decide to publish on the Internet. The Internet is a space where nothing disappears and can always be used against you. Learn about the privacy settings of the applications you use. Here are some suggestions:
you can choose whether your profile will be public or private,
you can choose whether your comments will be displayed to everyone or your friends,
if you encounter hate from another person, you can remove them from your friends, block them by preventing them from any interaction with you,
you can share posts, for example, only with selected people
Q: How can I recognize if a friend of mine is being cyberbullied?
A: Sometimes when people are cyberbullied they may feel embarrassed or reluctant to report a bully or to share what is going through with a friend. In this case it is important to be able to recognize the signs that may indicate someone is being cyberbullied in order to avoid long term and more serious consequences. Recognizing cyberbullying is essential for taking timely action to address the issue and support your friend in difficult situation. Here are some signs to look for:
• Changes in online behavior – pay attention to sudden changes in online behavior patterns, like avoiding certain social media platforms, receiving excessive messages or notifications, or suddenly shutting down devices when others are nearby. Victims of cyberbullying may be also reluctant to discuss their online experiences, fearing judgment or further harassment. If someone starts blocking or unfriending individuals on social media or frequently changes their account settings, it may be a response to cyberbullying.
• Withdrawal from friends and family- victims of cyberbullying often isolate themselves from friends and family, either because they are embarrassed about the situation or because the bullying has caused them emotional distress they don’t know how to cope with.
• Evidence of harassment – sometimes you can find direct evidence of cyberbullying, such as public hurtful messages, threats, or the spreading of false rumors or embarrassing photos.
• Sudden emotional changes – if your friend goes through sudden and unexplained emotional changes such as increased anxiety, depression, anger, or withdrawal from social activities, it could be also a sign of cyberbullying.
• Deterioration in academic performance – sometimes victims of cyberbullying experience decrease in concentration, productivity, and overall performance at school which to leads to lower grades and decreased learning outcomes.
Keep in mind that adolescents are unique individuals with varying personalities, coping mechanisms, and life experiences. Some teenagers may have a higher level of emotional resilience and be better equipped to handle cyberbullying, while others may be more emotionally sensitive and affected. If a friend of yours shows some or combination of the signs above try to engage them in open communication, offer support and help them to report the case to appropriate authorities or platforms. These can be crucial steps in resolving the situation and providing assistance to your friend.
Q: How can I stay informed about the latest developments and research in cyberbullying prevention?
A: You can keep yourself informed by following reputable websites, blogs, and social media accounts dedicated to cybersecurity, online safety, and bullying prevention. These sources often share news and research updates. Join online communities and forums dedicated to cyberbullying prevention such as the TABASCO platform. These platforms are excellent for sharing knowledge and staying updated.
Last but not least, you can explore educational resources from reputable organizations, including online courses, guides, and toolkits, as they often include the latest research.
Q: How can I raise awareness about cyberbullying in my school or community?
A: There are many ways to be proactive and involve your school, community, and online networks, to help raise awareness about cyberbullying and contribute to creating a safer online environment for everyone. Consider the following strategies:
• The first and easiest thing to do is to lead by example. Be a positive online role model – encourage respectful online behavior and discourage cyberbullying within your own social circles.
• Start a club or group focused on cyberbullying prevention and awareness – this group can organize events, share resources, and promote a culture of respect online.
• Organize workshops and presentations – collaborate with teachers, school counselors, or local experts to organize workshops and presentations on cyberbullying prevention. These sessions can educate students, parents, and educators about the risks and how to respond. You can also gather useful information and present it in an interactive manner in front of the class.
• Create educational materials – alone or with a group of friends and classmates, you can design posters, leaflets, board games, quizzes or other interesting resources to provoke the interest and highlight the impact of cyberbullying and provide tips on staying safe online. You can distribute these materials not only in your school but go beyond, by reaching other schools in the area, community centers, and local libraries.
• Start an online campaign – use social media platforms to share educational content, statistics, and personal stories related to cyberbullying. Encourage others to share this information to reach a wider audience. Share reputable online resources, hotlines, and support services for those affected by cyberbullying. Make these resources easily accessible in your school or community.
• Collaborate with local organizations – search for local nonprofits, law enforcement, or community organizations that have a focus on online safety. Meet with them and see how you can help each other.
• Involve parents – organize parent workshops to educate them about the signs of cyberbullying, how to support their children, and how to monitor online activities responsibly.