Friday, February 14, 2014

Kids and Tweens Cybersafety Guide - Part 5 Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is bullying someone online and with cell phones, game devices and on game sites. It’s
when one kids or tween uses technology as a weapon to hurt another kids or tweens.

Sometimes, when kids and tweens aren’t careful or don’t know enough about using a certain technology
safely, they hurt others by accident. They might have been kidding around or they might have forgotten
to include a :-) or “jk” (for just kidding) and the other person took it seriously Maybe they sent it to the
wrong person and instead of their friend who would understand it was just a joke, it went to someone
else on your buddy list or a stranger. They might not know it was only a joke and get scared or angry.

But most of the time it’s on purpose. When kids and tweens are angry or hurt, they often send mean
messages or do mean things to hurt others. They might think that it’s okay because they didn’t start it.
But it’s never okay to be mean online. Many times kids and tweens will pretend to be someone else
when they are doing mean things online. They make hack into someone’s account or use their password
without permission and say mean things to your friends pretending to be you. Or they may disguise their
identity and not let you know who they are.

You never know if they are your best friend or worst enemy.

One of WiredSafety’s Tweenangels said that “cyberbullying hurts your heart.” Her best friend got into a
fight with her and was very hurtful to her online. Words can hurt a lot. And if the cyberbully tries and
make it look like you did something mean to your friends, it can cost you all your friends.

The best way to avoid being a cyberbully is to proofread your IMs, text messages and emails before
sending them. Did you address it to the right person? Did you leave out a word that changes the
meaning of the message? Is it possible that they will think you were mean, even if you weren’t trying to
be mean?

Treat each other with respect. Follow theWiredSafety “ Internet Golden Rule” and never do
anything online that you wouldn’t do offline.

The best way to avoid being the target of a cyberbully is to protect your password, not share personal
information that they could use to hurt you and to follow WiredSafety’s Internet Golden Rule. By
treating people the way you want to be treated, it is less likely that they will try and hurt you.

If you do everything you are supposed to do, but are being cyberbullied anyway, remember to Stop,
Block and Tell! say to “stop, block and tell!” if anything hurts
your feelings or upsets you online. Stop – don’t answer back, Block the person or message and Tell! a
trusted adult (like your parents). Otherwise, you are feeding the bully!