CHARLOTTE – By definition, the term “cyberbullying” refers to the act of harassing, threatening, or intimidating another person by means of electronic devices and the World Wide Web. Cyberbullying is most common among youth, however, adults are not exempt from this growing issue.
Unlike face to face altercations, cyberbullying can be extremely hard to trace, prove, and dissolve for the fact a bully can hide behind fictitious accounts and usernames, disguising their true identity.
In a study reported by DoSomething.org about 37% of young people have been bullied online, but only 1 in 10 victims informed an adult of the abuse. The NCHS found that suicide is the second leading cause of death amoung US youth and vitcims were twice as likely to attempt suicide or inflict self harm.
Some “red flags” that could alert you a loved one is having some issues could include; nervous about leaving home, seeming jumpy when texting or using social media, appears to be agitated after being online, refusing to share information about online activities, unexplained weight or diet changes and illnesses, trouble sleeping, loss of interest in activities, depressed or anti-social, withdrawn, suicidal thoughts or attempts.
With a few common sense steps, you can help safeguard yourself and others from being a victim. Keep passwords concealed, always log out, never post anything you wouldn’t want your parents or future employer to see, limit online and social media usage, educate children at an early age.