What Can Be Done About cyberbullying?
Awareness and education are the keys to the prevention of cyberbullying!
Become better educated. Take an online course
or view a Webinar from www.bullyingcourse.com.
Click here to download our helpful information sheets about cyberbullying
Spend some time on this Web site learning what you can about cyberbullying. At this time, it is often a very hurtful, difficult and time consuming challenge to deal with the effects of cyberbullying after it has occurred. It can take a lot of time and effort to get Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Mobile Telecommunications Service Providers (the phone companies who sell you your cell phone and pagers) to respond and deal with your complaints about being cyberbullied
I am asking Canadian telecommunications companies and Canaidan Internet Service Providers to work with Bullying.org in a proactive, educational initiative that will help make the public more aware of the cyberbullying, how to prevent it and what to do if you and/or those you known and care for are ever cyberbullied
An Ounce of Prevention...
Place / keep computer(s) with Internet access in an open, commonly used space
Never give out personal information or passwords, P.I.N. numbers etc..-Personal information includes your name, the names of friends or family, your address, phone number, school name (or team name if you play sports). Personal info also includes pictures of yourself and your e-mail address. Ask permission before sharing any information with a Web site, a "chat buddy" and even when registering a product purchased for your computer (like a game). Passwords are secrets Never tell anyone your password except your parents or guardian.
Don't believe everything you see or read -Just because someone online tells you that they are 15 doesn't mean they are telling the truth. Even adults can't tell when a male pretends to be a female or a 50 year old pretends to be a 15 year old.
Use Netiquette -Be polite to others online just as you would off-line. If someone treats you rudely or meanly - do not respond. Online bullies are just like off-line. ones - they WANT you to answer (don't give them the satisfaction).
Don't send a message to someone else when you are angry -Wait until you have calmed down and had time to think. Do your best to make sure that your messages are calmly and factually written. You will usually regret sending a "Flame" (angry) to someone else later on. Once you've sent a message, it is VERY hard to undo the damage that such "flames" can do.
Don't open a mesage from someone you don't know - If in doubt about it, ask your parents, guardian or another adult.
If it doesn't look or feel right, it probably isn't -Trust your instincts and teach your kids to trust theirs. While surfing the Internet, if you find something that you don't like, makes you feel uncomfortable or scares you, turn off the computer and tell an adult.
You don't have to be "Always On" turn off, disconnect, unplug, try actual reality instead of virtual reality! -Give yourself a break Don't stay online or connected too long. Spend time with your family and friends off line.
Sign on the dotted line Make and print out an online contract with your parents or guardians. Ask your parents to read the information for them on this Web site, so they will be informed about cyberbullying and Internet safety issues.
If You Are The Victim of a Cyberbully What Can Be Done Now?:
Don't reply to messages from cyberbullies -even though you may really want to, this is exactly what cyberbullies want. They want to know that they've got you worried and upset. They are trying to mess with your mind and control you, to put fear into you. Don't give them that pleasure.
Do not keep this to yourself! You are NOT alone and you did NOT do anything to deserve this! Tell an adult you know and trust!
Inform your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or cell phone/pager service provider (see the list of Canadian service providers and their contact information that can be found at on the "Related Resources" page on www.cyberbullying.ca).
Inform your local police
Do not erase or delete messages from cyberbullies -You don't have to read it, but keep it, it is your evidence. You may unfortunately get similar messages again, perhaps from other accounts. The police and your ISP, and/or your telephone company can use these messages to help you. You might notice certain words or phrases that are also used by people you know. These messages may reveal certain clues as to who is doing this to you, but don't try and solve this on your own, remember, tell an adult you know and trust. GET HELP!
Protect yourself -Never arrange to meet with someone you met online unless your parents go with you. If you are meeting them make sure it is in a public place.
You may need to delete your current e-mail accounts, cell phone/pager accounts and set up new ones. I am working with the Canadian Telecommunications Service Providers to support you in making such changes at no cost to you. If your cyberbullying problems persist, I would recommend that you do this as soon as possible, unless you are working with the police and your Telecommunications Provider to keep the account(s) active to try and catch the cyber bully
If you are more technically inclined, you can do a little cyber-sleuthing of your own to provide the police and your Telecommunications Provider with more information, but NEVER try and meet someone personally who you suspect might be the cyber-bully This is best left in the hands of the legal authorities.
If you receive and unsolicited harassing e-mail message from a cyber-bully, you can often use your mouse to right-click on the header of the offending message and choose the "Options" section of the menu. This will often reveal greater details about the message, such as:
Received: from [188.8.131.52] by ns1.netizenship.org (NTMail 5.06.0016/LC0008.00.11c4cb1f) with ESMTP id eahnhaaa for firstname.lastname@example.org; Thu, 13 Mar 2003 10:58:30 -0700
Received: from oc.xqna.org [184.108.40.206] by 220.127.116.11 id IGj585W6h0WK for <email@example.com>;
Thu, 13 Mar 2003 23:58:15 +0600
From: "" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject:: I Hate You!
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 03 23:58:15 GMT
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.2616
You can then look at the root-domain of the sender, which in this case is the fictitious "cyberbully.hurt". You can then go to do a "WHOIS" search with a domain name registration company such as CIRA if the last two letters of the cyberbullies e-mail address end in .ca (this means it is a Canadian domain name and was registered in Canada). If the last letters are something other than .ca, such as .com, .org, .net etc. you can do a "WHOIS" search internationally with Internic.com, This Web site was been established to provide the public information regarding Internet domain name registration services and is updated frequently.
The "WHOIS" search will often provide information as to who owns the domain name, and their contact information. Share this information with your local police and your telecommunications or Internet service provider.
You can also use software to help protect and/or find out who is sending you harassing messages. www.cyberbullying.ca DOES NOT OFFICIALLY ENDORSE the products::
If you are receiving harassing messages from cyber bullies through Web-based mail services like Hotmail, Yahoo Mail etc., it becomes very difficult to trace such accounts as email@example.com. You may have to delete your current e-mail account and start a new one. Tell only a select few people you trust about your new e-mail account when, and if you choose to reestablish one.
If you are receiving harassing messages from cyber bullies through Instant Messaging (IM) software such as ICQ, MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger etc. such programs usually have a "Block", "Ignore" or "Ban" feature. Use this feature to try and "Block", "Ignore or "Ban" the cyber bullies
If you are the victim of a cyber bully who has set up and Web site that is defaming, or mocking you, contact the Internet Service Provider and inform them about what is happening, also inform the police. Use the "WHOIS" search tool to help you in the manner describe above.
If this is a large Web hosting company, it may take a long time to get a response and a promise of action. ISPs are often very reluctant to act in such cases. Unfortunately, some people have only received a response, or seen such cyberbullying Web sites taken down after the threat of legal action. www.cyberbullying.ca is trying to work with the Canadian telecommunications Industry to act in a more responsive, proactive way.
Are You Aware of, or Are You Supporting Someone Who Is the Victim of cyberbullying?
The best defense against cyberbullying for now is a watchful, involved parent, guardian, family member or friend.