Sometimes, the easiest and most effective way to stop cyberbullying is to ignore it. Whether you do this depends to a great extent on the specifics of the cyberbullying. There are times you should immediately speak to an adult about what has happened.
If you can ignore it, great. Most bullies are looking for a reaction. They want to know that they have frightened or embarrassed someone. They want to see them sweat or cry, even if only virtually.
But ignoring something hateful and insulting isn’t easy for anyone, especially someone between the ages of 9 and 15. However, retaliation can escalate things instead of stop them. So think carefully ("Take Five") before you retaliate with cyberbullying of your own.
If the offense is not something you can ignore, speak to an adult (a parent or teacher) about the situation. Kids are often afraid they will look like a tattletale if they tell an adult, but sometimes this is necessary.
Here are some general tips:
- Keep personal information, including pictures and passwords private.
- "Google" yourself often to see what is out there in cyberspace about you.
- Think B4U click.
- Take 5! and walk away from the computer when U R angry
- Report instances of cyberbullying to adults.
If you want to take an active role against cyberbullying, learn about how you can become a Teenangel.
Special thanks to Parry Aftab, a privacy lawyer specializing in the cybercrime, privacy and cyber-abuse risks, for her input in developing this content. For more information, go to teenangels.org.