Wednesday, August 4

Cyber Bullying

The Internet has two faces:  a lovely side and an ugly one.  The Internet is a great source of information. It is a remarkable tool that connects people around the world with a simple touch of a button.  Internet users can easily pass and share text, images, sound and videos with one another.  It’s a perfect venue for companies and individuals to advertise and sell their products.  Consumers can browse and go shopping online without the hassle of leaving the house.  The Internet makes things easier and more convenient.

Unfortunately, the Internet has a negative side.  People with bad intentions can manipulate information shared online and use it to their advantage.  Cyber-bullying is one of the terrible things that someone can experience online. The National Crime Prevention Council's defines cyber bullying as a situation "when the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person."

Cyber bullying can come in different forms. It can be as simple as sending an e-mail to someone repeatedly even though the said person expressed that he does not want further contact from the sender.  It may also involve something as serious as threats, sending below the belt comments and criticisms online and posting false facts with the goal of humiliating the person.

A cyber bully can either disclose his real identity in websites and forums but he may also choose to hide behind an alias.  In worse cases, a cyber-bully can pose as the identity of his cyber victim in order to bring shame to that person.

Cyber-bullying is a scary reality. Kids can fall prey to abusive people online. It is important to supervise kids when using the Internet.  Explain to them that it’s dangerous to talk to strangers online just like it’s dangerous to talk to strangers in the street.  Let them know that it’s dangerous to share personal information online. Adults should also be extra careful in divulging important information online.  Make sure you only share personal facts to trusted online sites.