Top tips to stay safe online.
* Block the bully– there’s always a way to stop the bully from contacting you on social networks, mobile phones, instant messaging and even games consoles so check out the privacy or safety settings of the service you are using to find out how or even try searching ‘block’ or ‘abuse’ in the help section. You can also ring your up your service provider, network provider who can help you block the abuse.
* Report it– any cyberbullying you suffer should be reported, whether it’s an on-line group against you, nasty comments, a text message or threatening on-line chats, it’s still bullying and isn’t ok, so make sure you report it to an adult you trust. It’s important you feel supported and someone else knows what’s happening. If you’ve blocked it and it’s continuing, all social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Bebo etc have report abuse buttons, as do most mobile phone networks who have teams to deal with abuse such as o2, Orange and Vodafone etc. You can also block and report abuse on MSN, by clicking ‘help’ on the top tool bar. Games consoles also have advice on their websites. All service providers have a duty to make sure their users feel safe.
* Use strong Passwords– make sure for any account you have, you have a strong password that you don’t tell any one, this will mean people can’t access your account and steal any info, pictures or personal data or pretend to be you. Change your password regularly.
* Keep the evidence- make sure you save or copy any cyberbullying such as texts or MSN conversations you receive so the necessary people can investigate as everyone can be traced no matter how they bully. A good way to do this is to press the ‘PrtScrn’ button on the right hand side of the keyboard which prints the screen and you then copy and paste this into word or try using window’s ‘Snipping tool’.
* Don’t reply or answer back– don’t become a cyberbully yourself, instead deal with the bully by blocking and reporting the abuse. It’s sometimes hard not to write back, but it’s always best to ignore, block & monitor the situation.
* On-line friends– remember when you accept someone as your friend on instant messaging or social networks, they can access all your personal data, pictures and information, so make sure you are happy for them to do this.
The most important thing is that you tell someone about the bullying.
If possible this should be an adult that you trust such as your parent, your teacher, mentor, boss, colleague or a relative but you could tell a friend or a brother/sister. Basically ANYONE! They’ll work with you to sort the problem.
For more advice and information on cyberbullying you can email Alex at: Antibullying.firstname.lastname@example.org