Prevention on the Internet
Bullying is now an observable phenomenon in the virtual world. Cyberbullying is when communications technologies are used to intimidate or harass someone. This can take many different forms, such as sending intimidating emails or text messages, uploading embarrassing photos, revealing personal information, etc.
It differs from traditional bullying in several ways:
- It is not limited in time or space. A student may be intimidated while alone at home;
- It is impersonal. Written comments can be much crueler than when they are said in front of the person;
- It is far reaching as social media is accessible to a large number of people;
- It is anonymous: because addresses can be created using fictitious names, the victim cannot identify the perpetrator.
Here are some tips if you are a victim of cyberbullying:
- Do not respond to messages and block the sender;
- Keep a copy of the messages, they will be useful in case of a possible denunciation;
- Talk to someone you trust;
- If the messages are on a website or web page contact the Internet service provider (ISP). The majority of them have policies on the use of their services. In addition, many sites contain a link or button to report inappropriate content.
Online sexual exploitation :
Some people will use the Internet to manipulate and exploit others. The term “exploitation of children on the Internet” refers to anyone under the age of 18. Most of the time, the victims of exploitation on the Internet are not children, but adolescents. Contrary to popular belief, the exploiter is not always an older man, he may be another youth.
Chat sites, exchanges of photos or webcams, online games and social networking sites are all activities during which it is possible to come into contact with a potential exploiter. Different techniques can be used which is why we must be vigilant at all times.
Some will show you a lot of attention, complimenting a lot and even giving gifts and others may make you believe in the threat of potential danger to force cooperation. When they are looking for sexual activity, some will introduce the subject very quickly while others will take their time. In short, it is impossible to predict with certainty what behaviour a potential exploiter will exhibit, so it is important to be vigilant.
Some preventive behaviours include:
- Always use the webcam with caution, ideally only with people you actually know.
- Never believe people who claim to want to launch a career as a model or actor with the webcam, a serious company would never do that.
- Never give personal information on the Internet, even to known individuals, as piracy may allow a third party to track it;
- Use impersonal nicknames that give little information about you;
- Think about your online reputation when creating your profiles or accounts. What you put in them can create a bad impression or attract unwanted attention;
- If you’re going on a date with someone, tell a trusted adult. Otherwise, the meeting should take place in a public place that you can easily leave. In addition, it is preferable that you be accompanied;
- Disclosure to an adult, police or Cyberaide should be made when:
- A stranger asks you to send personal information, photos or videos;
- A stranger or company you do not deal with sends you or displays inappropriate material;
- If an address you’ve received leads you to an obscene site;
- If you receive obscene files from someone that includes youth under the age of 18;
- If someone openly approaches you and asks to meet you for sexual purposes.
Creating a profile
Although some sites offer the option of making our profiles accessible only to the friends we choose, it must be said that privacy and absolute privacy on the Internet are incompatible. Despite having the best intentions in the world, strangers will still have access to our information. Our profile represents us, and it can be consulted by people who are not part of your circle of friends and family. The question “What would I like to disclose to a foreigner?” can guide the creation of profiles.
The following list can help you make sure you don’t give too much information:
- You don’t have to write your full name, after all, the people close to you already know it. An impersonal nickname can be perfect.
- Age can be indicated if it is not combined with your name, city, or other information. However, is it essential to write it? Just like your name, your friends already know it;
- Indicating whether you are a boy or a girl is not inherently dangerous. However, the combination of this information with other information about you can be;
- Never give your address. Again, your friends know where you live and when asked, the question “Would I want strangers to know where to find me at all times?” speaks for itself. It’s the same with a phone number;
- Remember that your publications can be seen and read by many people, including friends, teachers, parents and future employers.
Texte written by the CALACS Charlevoix
You can find a lot more information on cyberbullying by visiting the following Website: www.cyberaide.ca/en/