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Friday, August 24, 2007

School starts soon - Beware of Cyberbullies

School starts soon for students and they need to be aware of the dangers of cyberbullies and what to do about it. I am available to speak at middle, high schools, colleges and universities to students, school personnel and parents about cyberbullying, online social networking sites and much more. Just email me at netcrimes@netcrimes.net for more information about this.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT CYBERBULLIES

There are several avenues for action, depending upon who the cyberbully is and what the cyberbully has done. Victims do have recourse, and cyberbullies can be stopped, and sometimes even prosecuted for criminal or civil offenses.

ACT IMMEDIATELY! The longer you wait, the harder it is to successfully identify the
cyberbully.

IF YOU ARE RECEIVING DEATH THREATS or believe yourself or your family to be in immediate physical danger, dial 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.

RESPOND ONCE to the cyberbully with a simple "Please stop contacting me." You do not have to explain yourself. After that, DO NOT ENGAGE IN ANY MORE COMMUNICATIONS WITH THAT PERSON. It is important that you do not communicate with the other person, and that you do not take any actions or have any conversation that will further provoke the negative communication.

CREATE AN “EVIDENCE” FILE/FOLDER. SAVE ALL MESSAGES AND COMMUNICATIONS.
Save everything -- whether you save the message itself to a special folder, print it out, or copy and paste it to a Word document -- even if you need to hit the “Print Screen” key to capture the communication. Do not delete text messages. Capture a digital photo! If live, try to record the conversation. Be sure to write down all of the details about that conversation:
WHAT type of communication was received...WHEN it was sent (day and time)...

WHAT the message contained (when you first read it. Simply make copies of future messages that you are ignoring!)...

WHERE it was sent from (sender’s screen name or phone number)...If you know, WHO sent it, WHO might have witnessed it...

and YOUR FEELINGS when you received the message.

PRINT COPIES of all messages. In Chat Room or Message Board, PRINT SCREEN and copy/save.

IF YOU HAVEN’T TOLD AN ADULT YOU TRUST YET, BE SURE TO TELL THEM NOW!
A parent, guardian, teacher -- someone! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Let an adult help you stop what is going on, and to keep you safe. It’s the only way...

TRY TO IDENTIFY WHO THE SENDER OR CALLER IS.
Many times, the cyberbully is someone you know!
Try to identify the person based upon your relationship and their motive.
Try to make a list of names of anyone who might be angry with you, or generally dislike you.

Federal, state and local laws protect individuals and personal property from bias-based prejudice, slander and defamation, vandalism, sexual harassment, assault, and other criminal intent and actions. Check with your state's web site on the laws they have available there.

For more information for kids and teens and staying safe online, visit WHOA-KTD (Kids/Teen Division)

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