Web tips on Cyberbullying

October 8, 2010 8:08:51 AM PDT
Parry Aftab's WiredSafety, the world's largest and oldest cybersafety group, operates StopCyberbullying.org dedicated to helping prevent and stop cyberbullying.Specially-trained volunteers at WiredSafety.org can help you with a cyberharassment or cyberbullying problem, just click to report it on the site.

Watch our extended web video on cyberbullying here!

Advice to Parents on Cyberbullying - What should parents do to fight cyberbullying:

* Don't overreact and threaten to take away internet or cell use
* Advise child not to retaliate by cyberbullying in return.
* Don't brush it off. Be supportive, listen and take it seriously. Cyberbullying has led to suicide.
* Let the school or pediatrician or family counselor/clergy know as appropriate.
* If there is any risk of physical harm or assault immediately report to local law enforcement agency.
* Preserve all electronic evidence and live data.
* Reach out to WiredSafety.org for help.


  • STOP!
    Don't do anything. Take 5! to calm down.
  • BLOCK!
    Block the cyberbully or limit all communications to those on your buddy list.
  • and TELLl!
    Tell a trusted adult, you don't have to face this alone. Report cyberbullying to wiredsafety.org.

    Practice the Internet Golden Rule - Ms. Parry's guide to correct online etiquette (Netiquette)

    A Checklist for Cybercommunications:

    Before sending that e-mail or posting on that Web site or bulletin board, think before you click "send." Re-read what you were going to send. If it meets any of these factors, don't send it until you fix them. And if you can't fix them, maybe you shouldn't send it at all.

    Start by making sure you are sending things to the right place, that it arrives and that the right person gets it.
    Is it addressed to the right person? Are you sure? Have you checked the spelling and the screen name carefully? Are they in your address book or on your buddy list already? The easiest way to make sure that you have their correct screen name or e-mail address is to save it automatically when they send you something. Parents should input their children's approved correspondents into their buddy lists and address books to make sure that it is done correctly. Also, people (especially kids) change their e-mail addresses and screen names often. Make sure you are using the most up-to-date one.

    Is it worth sending?
    Don't waste peoples' time or bandwidth with junk, chain e-mails and false rumors. Some of your friends and people you know love getting lots of e-mail, IMs and jokes. Others don't. Before you start sending lots of jokes and attachments to someone, find out if it's okay first. And if they tell you they are busy, respect their time. Don't send chain e-mails. They clog up e-mail servers, especially at school. Also, never send anything you haven't confirmed as being true.

    Proofread and spell-check your e-mails and make sure they know who you are.
    Many messages are never understood or are misunderstood because people left out words, or said things unclearly, or misspelled words.

    Also make sure that you re-read what you are sending to make sure it says what you want it to say.

    Also make sure that you sign your e-mails and cybercommunications with a name the recipient will recognize, if you aren't using your normal screen name.

    Don't attack others online, say anything that could be considered insulting or that is controversial Until you get to know someone very well, it's always best to stay away from controversial topics, like politics, religion, race, sex, nationalism, war, special physical or mental limitations, money and gender-based issues. If someone tells you that you hurt their feelings, find out how and apologize.

    Don't use all capital letters (considered shouting online) and be careful about using bad language or being provocative.

    Don't intentionally say anything to hurt some else's feelings or invade their privacy online or offline.

    Don't forward other people's e-mails without their permission or share their personal information Sometimes, without realizing it, we copy someone new on an e-mail thread. It might contain personal information or a personal communication that someone else shared with only you three levels down and you didn't realize that you were now allowing others to read it. Either delete all but the most recent message when forwarding it, or re-read the older threaded messages before forwarding to make sure nothing personal is in those messages. Many private things slip through that way by mistake.

    Are you angry when you are writing this message?
    If you are writing the e-mail, instant message or post when you are angry, review it carefully. Also take the time to cool down before sending it and check the tips for avoiding cyberfights, by using the tips we learn in Take 5!

    Don't reply to spam, even to ask to be removed from their mailing list

    How private is the message you are sending? Are you willing to have others read this message or forward it to others without your permission?

    E-mails get misdelivered all the time. And sometimes the people we send them to share our communications with others without asking us first.

    When students apply for jobs or internships the recruiter will sometimes "Google them" first. We have seen many cases where old messages they posted when they were much younger and didn't realize would turn up in an online search cost someone an internship position or a job.
    (It's always a good idea to "Google yourself" regularly and make sure nothing turns up that you would be embarrassed about or that gives away personal information about you online.)

    For more information, please visit at www.stopcyberbullying.org & WiredSafety.org

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