Cyberbullying on Social Media: 5 Tips for Prevention
Schools around the country are growing concerned
Parents and teachers around the country notice that kids are being cyberbullied, and it’s affecting their schoolwork and overall wellbeing. Cyberbullies leave inappropriate comments on children’s Instagram posts, and parents have become frustrated because they feel law enforcement could do more to help.
Local police departments argue it’s a complicated issue between the First Amendment and protecting children’s rights to privacy and should be taken on as a case-by-case basis. Meanwhile, school districts are looking to combat the problem through more education.
5 tips to protect yourself from cyberbullying
The first step we should take against cyberbullying is understanding what it is and helping to educate others on it so we can all be proactive in protecting ourselves. Here are 5 ways you can protect yourself and your kids from cyberbullying:
1. Keep your social media profiles private
The easiest way to turn away unwanted strangers is to keep your life private online. Only allowing the people you know and trust to view your posts will significantly decrease the likelihood of getting bullied online. Every social media platform should have an option to make your profile private. On Instagram, for example, simply go to Settings, Privacy, and turn on “Private Account.”
2. Review your privacy settings
Next, stay in the Settings > Privacy section and review what else you would like to have boundaries on. You can block comments, limit unwanted interactions, hide posts and stories from certain people, and more. Your privacy settings should be a priority to review every few months to make sure you feel secure.
3. Don’t respond
If you do receive an unwanted comment or message, it’s natural to want to stick up for yourself. Experts recommend never responding, though, because it’s what the bully wants you to do and opens up the door for another attack. It’s best to be completely innocent in the situation and not post something you’ll regret later.
4. Block and report
Instead of engaging with them, simply exclude cyberbullies from being able to see your posts and interact with you. And because they will probably do the same thing to other people, you should report their account. You can block and report them on Instagram simply by viewing their profile, going to the three dots in the top right corner, and clicking “Block” and “Report.”
5. Escalate the situation
By talking to someone about what’s happening, you can get the help you need to stop the bullying. Report the behavior to authorities, school officials, and lawyers so there can be an official track record of the situation, and it can be escalated. Learn what legal steps you can take to combat cyberbullying.
Get legal help on cyberbullying from a dedicated lawyer
The effects of cyberbullying are significantly damaging, and it’s essential you get the help you need to defend yourself against it. Talk to a dedicated lawyer to learn about laws in your area and ways to combat cyberbullying from a legal perspective.
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